To enhance compliance of mobile phone manufacturers and retailers to safety and quality standards, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (Son) has commenced an enlightenment exercise for stakeholders to this end.
Specifically, the agency seeks a collaboration with retailers to ensure proper e-registration of products been sold in the markets, while urging the Federal Government to initiate stiffer penalties for violators of trade rules in the country.
According to the Son, out of the leading products in the Nigerian mobile phone market, only one is registered with Son and that makes it difficult to make the manufacturers and retailers liable for the sale of sub-standard products.
Speaking at an on-the-spot assessment at the Computer Village, Ikeja, Lagos at the weekend, the Director-General, Son, Dr Joseph Odumodu, explained that the move had become necessary going by unsavoury reports on illicit activities of retailers in the market.
According to him, anything done to mislead a customer into making a purchase would not be accepted by Son as consumers have been long cheated by unscrupulous retailers in this market.
“We need to stop cheating the consumer. Consumer rights are not protected in this market. Compliance to approved trade practices is key to improving wealth creation and consumer protection. We want to collaborate with stakeholders in this market only in an organised way. Every product must be registered with SON. Out of the leading products in the Nigerian mobile phone market, only one is registered with SON. We are not here to stop or close anybody’s business but to protect customers from these malpractices”, he explained.
Odumodu added that the agency had recently seized over four million units of unlabeled batteries being re-labelled in a warehouse.
He noted that it would not be business as usual, as the agency would ensure that culprits are held liable for their actions.
Iyke Nwosu, president, Phone and Allied Products Dealers Association (Papda), Computer Village, noted that the association had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) two years ago with the Son to develop strategies to address consumer complaints.
He however blamed the growing trade malpractices in the market to the influx of faceless suppliers and Chinese businessmen in the market.
He then assured the agency of the association’s commitment to address the issue of sub-standard products in the market within the next five months.
“We are dealing with issues of market dominance of a particular product. However, if competition is done fairly, issues would be resolved. We understand the operations of the market and would ensure that consumers have value for their money”, he added.
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