The Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) and the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), in partnership with the Abuja Traders Union, are working to cleans the city of counterfeit and substandard products.
This was the agreement reached at a meeting between the AMMC, SON and representatives of Abuja market traders on Thursday in Abuja.
The Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shuaibu told newsmen in Abuja that the meeting becomes imperative after an attack on officials of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) during one of their operations to check the proliferation of expired tyres in Apo market.
While adding that the meeting was like a normal ritual to strengthen their bond and ensure that no organisation is prevented from carrying out it’s statutory functions.
According to him, “We had a situation whereby Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), went for enforcement in a Apo market to check the activities of proliferation of illegal tyres.
“SON is the body that charged statutorily, to check all fake and substandard products in Nigeria. So they went to Apo market for that type of activity. Unfortunately, they were attacked. In fact, their vehicle was vandalised.
“They resorted to us as the city managers because nobody can stop any government agency from performing his constitutional functions. So we have to collaborate with SON and the market traders, in particular, the Tire Dealers of Association of Nigeria, to ensure that the unfortunate situation never happens again.
“Anybody that is operating his business legally, doesn’t have anything to fear. It is only those people that have things to hide, have skeletons in the cupboard that should afraid of enforcement or monitoring.
“They have all agreed to collaborate and make sure that this issue never repeats.”
He also cautioned all the traders against selling substandard products in Abuja, even as he warned that the AMMC being the city manager will not condone any act that will pose a threat to the development of the city.
Saying, “There are other dealers, not only tyre dealers, we have those that sell rods, those that sell cement, those whatever it is, that is required for daily activities. Is it building materials? Is this a technical and mechanical matter? Is it food? Whatever you can go to the market and buy. It has to be of a good standard for you to sell in Abuja.
“So, SON’s function is not only limited to tires, it covers every product in the country and other traders were also here as invitations were also extended to them, so they could hear the message.”
He expressed optimism that in the coming days, with the renewed commitment for collaboration, significant improvements will be noticed in the fight against fake and substandard products in Abuja.
Meanwhile, the FCT Minister, Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Comrade Ikaro Attah decried the rate of substandard products in Abuja market.
He said this products are injurious to the health of residents, saying, buying tyres in the market , you have to shine your eyes or buy from a reliable seller.
According to him, “I have seen you do enforcement, with your team to some persons that you believe are not living up to standard. What we from the FCTA expect strongly going forward is to get the traders and the managers of the market to do all they can to collaborate with SON. We believe that if the market can purge itself of the there will be no need for meetings like this. We strongly believe that the traders can work with With SON to achieve this”.
On his part, the Director of Operations, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Dauda Yakubu, said that the organisation is open to working with any traders’ association to rid Abuja of fake and substandard products.
Speaking on behalf of the traders, the Chairman, Apo Tyre Dealers Association, Chimezie Ife, said that whereas there are both good and bad people in the market, the Association is doing everything possible to purge itself of the bad elements within her members.
He reassured the government of his commitment to giving every support necessary to sanitize the market and ensure that the proliferation of fake and expired products is reduced to its barest minimum.