Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on Sunday, November 5, destroyed N4.5 million worth of fake and expired products in Ekiti for want of quality assurance and other factors.
Among the products burnt were fake and substandard tyres, expired cereals, expired snacks, detergents, soaps, wine, soft drinks and fruit juices.
Also burnt were electric and electronic items such as television sets and cables, as well as substandard LPG cylinders.
The newly appointed SON Coordinator in Ekiti, Mr Ayeni Oyebola, while supervising the exercise in Ado Ekiti, said the items destroyed were seized from distributors and sellers in different parts of the state after they failed quality assurance test.
He told newsman that the products were seized after SON staff, in conjunction with security agencies raided more than 100 outlets at one time or the other at different locations across the state following tip-offs by patrotic members of the public.
He added that most of the seized items had fake company name, fake brand name, fake country of origin and imaginary expiry date embossed on them at the expense of people’s safety.
He noted that apart from blacklisting distributors of such items, SON was also on the trail of the real manufacturers and their other collaborators, as they would be made to face the law.
He said such distributors would be made to pay penalties ranging between N500,000 and
N3 million, depending on the volume of their committal, including cost of destruction as well as risk arrest and prosecution.
He described the burnt items as “life threatening products”, saying most of them
expired more than three years ago or were entirely fake, while they were fraudulently labelled as being newly made and kept on shelves of supermarket for unsuspecting residents to buy and consume.
He noted that perpetrators of substandard and fake products and their collaborators were
worse than terrorists, stressing that no efforts would be spared in unravelling the true identities of the manufactures.
He explained that while a single fake product like electric cable and iron rod could travel miles and wipe out several households in a row through sudden fire or building collapse, terrorists on the other hand do have particular targets in mind during their operations.
Ayeni urged traditional rulers and local government functionaries to partner the agency
to rid the society of killer-products by telling their subjects to cultivate quality culture and refuse to buy cheap products suspected to be fake.
He also urged the public to regard themselves as whistle-blowers by promptly reporting the circulation or sale of suspected fake product in any part of the state.
Mr. Ojo Ademola, the Chairman of Master Bakers Union in the state, Mr Keonard Onyemesim, the Chairman of Tyre Dealers Association and Mr Victor Abe, the Chairman, Table Water Producers in the state, commended the action of SON, saying the destruction would serve as lesson to others.