SON Seeks Vitafoam’s Collaboration to Tackle Products Counterfeiting

Director General and Chief Executive of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim

The country’s standards regulating body, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has called on the management of the country’s industry leading foam and related products to collaborate with it in the war against counterfeiting.

The Director General of the body, Mallam Farouk Salim who made the plea when he led his management team to pay a courtesy visit to the foam and related products industry in Lagos on Thursday.

Salim opined that counterfeiting of local products is fast killing Nigerian companies, adding that it has led to serious banditry, kidnapping and other security issues.

The SON boss went on the memory lane to say that in the 70s and 80s, Nigeria manufacturing industries were the pride of Africans, adding that many Nigerians who went to further studies in Europe and the United States of America, are always rushing back to Nigeria to work in the country’s thriving manufacturing companies.

“I can still remember in the 70s and 80s, when our people were going to school in Europe and America, but quickly returned to work in our manufacturing companies.

“Most of those companies have folded up due to the activities of counterfeits.

“We are here to plead with you to collaborate with us in our efforts to reposition our manufacturing companies.

“We are going back to the National Assembly to seek for the review of our Act to enable us get some percentage of your taxes to boost our work,” he stressed.

Salim disclosed that his agency functions are unique but are not supported financially by the companies, adding that the federal government only pays their salaries but source funds for their functions internally.

He requested Vitafoam Plc and other manufacturing firms to support his agency position, when it goes to the National Assembly to review its Acts by next year.

The DG SON said that his agency is not asking for any additional taxes, adding that all he is pleading for is a percentage of their existing taxes to go to his agency to help in provision of vehicles and laboratory testing equipment.

Salim postulated that his offices in Ogba, Kano, Jos and elsewhere is ready to support the manufacturing companies the way it has collaborated with the Lubcon and Cables sub sectors, adding that SON is ready to assist any sub sectors that is willing to collaborate with it.

“We are going to the National Assembly to plead for the review of our Act. We are going to ask for a percentage of your (manufacturing companies taxes) to come to us to help us get more sophisticated testing equipment to help us combat counterfeiting in Nigeria.

“The federal government only pays our salaries, we source for funds for our equipment from the internally generated funds.

“You can buy vehicles and testing equipment for us to aid us serve you better, like the Lubcon Oil and Cables Wires have done for us, today their sectors are enjoying the benefits of their collaborations with us,” he stated.

Responding, the Managing Director of Vitafoam Nigeria Plc Mr Taiwo Adeniyi said, it is the biggest foam manufacturing company in Nigeria, despite the fact that his company is the only foam manufacturing company quoted in the Nigeria Stock Exchange in 2010 diversify to manufacturing, many other products apart from foam.

Adebiyi said that through his company’s past collaboration with SON, it has the largest laboratory in the manufacturing sector.

He added that other local foam manufacturing companies also utilize the activities of his firm’s laboratory due to the important roles it plays in the sector.

The Vitafoam Plc boss said his company also collaborated with the University of Lagos to establish a well-equipped laboratory which other foam manufacturing companies and producers of other allied products can go and carry out their equipment testing at Lagos State University.

Adeniyi disclosed that himself and his management team visited Ariara Market, Aba and Kano main market where they had a firsthand experience of how Vitafoam Nigeria Plc foams were been counterfeited unhindered.

He noted that his company welcome the visit of SON, adding that his management door is wide open for partnership with SON.

The Vitafoam Nigeria Plc boss stated  further that his company is the country’s leader in foam and other related products producers, adding that it has been in operations in Nigeria in the past 60 years.

He posited that the faith his company has in Nigeria made it to have presence in Kano, Jos, Aba and Ikeja.

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