By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
No fewer than two suspects have been arrested over their alleged connection with some adultrated lubricants uncovered in a plaza by the enforcement team of the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) in Lagos.
Our correspondent reliably learnt that the plaza, located at the Trade Fair Complex has been sealed by the agency.
The Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Mallam Farouk Salim said that the move was to guard against prevalence of motor accidents and machine breakdown, particularly during the yuletide resulting from the use of the adulterated lubricants.
Salim, who was represented by Isa Sulieman, SON Coordinator, Surveillance, Intelligence and Monitoring (SIM) Unit, during the exercise, stressed the Standards body’s commitment to the production of quality locally manufactured lubricants.
According to the SON DG, lubricants and packaging materials worth millions of Naira were seized during the operation.
He said the two suspects were caught in the act, while others escaped immediately they sighted the SON’s enforcement team.
Salim said the two suspects will be prosecuted by the police.
He said that other locations where adulterated lubricants were being carried out would be fished out and duly addressed, noting that SON would leave no stone unturned at achieving sanity in the nation’s lubricant market.
“What we have seen so far is that there are quite a lot of locations where this activity is going on and we have seized the products we saw and have also made some arrests.
“This is a very big problem and SON is very interested. We have also been directed to bring this act to the barest minimum.
“What they do is adulterate the established brands in a bid to deceive the unsuspecting consumers, but based on intelligence reports, we got here and caught them in the act.
“These are lubricants used for machinery not only for vehicles. So many companies have stopped operations because of the nefarious activities of these unscrupulous dealers in fake and substandard goods,” he said.
The SON boss assured that the enforcement would be a continuous process, with the agency working relentlessly to ensure that local manufacturers are protected to provide job opportunities for the nation’s teeming unemployed youths.He further said that from experience, most of the perpetrators of this act were dealers who had been previously prosecuted.
“The ones we have seen we are evacuating right away, but we are suspecting that all the shops have the products.
“We are also going as far as asking for the shop owners because they have to be liable. There is no way they can claim ignorance of the illegal act,” he said.
Reacting, the Chief Security Officer, Plaza, Trade Fair Complex, Chief Onyeka Ozorkwalu, said the association had made several efforts to stop the illicit trade to no avail.
“We all know that there are people faking products and we are not in support of this trade. We have reported to the police to deter them from this kind of business,”’ Ozorkwalu said.
He added that the association had appealed to the people in question, educated them on the negative effect of adulteration and they promised to stop.