Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has advocated a friendly approach to rid Nigerian markets of substandard products, especially lead paints.
Agboola Afolayan, who represented the director-general of SON, Anthony Aboloma, disclosed this at the Lead Paint Elimination Campaign organised by Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADev Nigeria), in collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Environment in Lagos on Friday, December 8, 2017.
The organisation, which is under the Federal Ministry of Environment, expressed optimism that sanitisation of the market “is possible”.
Mr. Afolayan advised the manufacturers to show some love to the informal sector, which Professor Babajide Alo described as “backyard manufacturers” to attract them to the formal fold.
“Let’s work together on a level-playing ground. We can sanitise the market.
“Let us show them a lot of love and pull them in; thereafter we gradually introduce the regulations to them.”
As some of those in the informal sector could not afford some equipment to test the content of their products, he said helping them is one of those friendly approaches.
“You can test for them and tell them how they are short-changing themselves by adding more lead,” Afolayan said.
SON added that it was working with paint manufacturers, “and they are cooperating.”
Prof. Alo, the technical adviser of SRADev Nigeria who coordinated the event, disclosed that product counterfeiting “is a global phenomenon”.
The professor of Chemistry at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), in his presentation, ‘Roadmap for Lead in Paint Regulation in Nigeria’, said SRADev was planning best available procedures for paint manufacturers in Nigeria to retrofit.
According to him, globally, science has not been able to achieve zero part per million (ppm) lead in paints, hence SRADev Nigeria is canvassing reduction to the acceptable <90ppm.
However, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) says it is ready to ensure that Nigerian markets are rid of lead-laden products.
Director-general of CPC, Babatunde Irukera, declared this his presentation, ‘The Role of Consumer Protection Council in Substandard Lead Paint Elimination In Nigeria’ at the event.
Represented by Fatimah Ojo at the event, which took place at Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) building, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, the CPC DG noted that the Council’s mandates involve ensuring that consumers were served only safe and standardised products and services.
“Our mandates generally involve active and proactive roles that ensure safe and standardised products and services in our market places for consumers. This issue of eliminating substandard lead paints in our markets is not an exception.
“You will thus agree with me that CPC is well poised to carry out the role of ensuring that our market places are rid of lead-laden paints.”
He also reiterated that “CPC is an important and effective organ of government whose role contributes to rid our markets of harmful and substandard products and services such as substandard lead paints.”
The Federal Ministry of Environment, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Paint Manufacturers Association (PMA) were among the agencies and associations represented at the event.
Senior standard officer of SON, Jessy Orun, in his presentation ‘National Industrial Standards and Specification for Lead paints in Nigeria’ noted: “Further to the Federal Government’s directive on ease of doing business, compliance to standard specifications for paint, which is <9oppm, would facilitate international trade.”
He disclosed that a heavy metal testing laboratory for chem-tech products would soon be operational at the new SON laboratory complex in Ogba, Lagos.
At the end of the programme, the participants adopted SRADev’s Roadmap for Lead Paint Elimination and Management in Nigeria.