Petroleum marketers in Rivers State have expressed deep concern over the prevalence of substandard petroleum products in the country, they added that the development calls in question the professionalism of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), especially as it concerns importation of substandard goods into the country.
They made reference to January 2022, when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation imported over 170million litres of substandard premium motor spirits into the country, which caused enormous damage to cars and plants engines across the country and the subsequent fuel scarcity which lasted for a very long time.
Francis Dimkpa, the Rivers State Chairman of Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, implored SON to monitor the standard of products at the point of manufacturing and entry into the country.
Dimkpa who was making his own contribution on the role of the agency in eradicating substandard products from the market, lashed out at the standard monitoring agency for failing to do proper assessment of the standard of goods before they are imported into the country; saying that IPMAN would collaborate with SON to this effect.
“We are more concerned about the professionalism of SON. They should focus more on the manufacturers and the importers. You cannot leave the border or the manufacturing points, and then you’re talking about standards.
“If you want to talk about standards, monitor standards at the point of entry and at the point of manufacturing.
“There is no need going to harrass, and intimidate people in and out of their businesses, without you monitoring these products right at the point of manufacturing.
“We are going to work with them, we have promised to synergize with them to concentrate more at the point of manufacturing and the point entry.”
Meanwhile, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria has said that it only has the power to traced distributed products in the market in ensuring that required standards are met.
SON explained said the agency does not operate at the Nigerian borders which should have given it access to monitor imported goods before distribution.
Rivers State Coordinator of SON, Samuel Ayuba, explained that all products imported into Nigeria are expected to have gone through the SONCAPS certification issued by international accredited firms which SON should naturally rely on, regretting that manufactures and importers were bent on cutting corners.