A former President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Eugene Nweke has admonished the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) to quit the campaign to return to ports.
Nweke made this call in a press statement issued on Thursday, while admonishing the agency to synergize with other organizations to be able to effectively carryout its functions away from the ports.
The veteran freight forwarder was reacting to the Director General of SON, Farouk Salim’s recent call to have SON at the ports to curb the influx of substandard goods in the country.
News Diet recalls that SON’s Director General made this call while briefing journalists when the agency destroyed some substandard imported goods in Lagos on Wednesday.
According to Eugene Nweke, SON like other security and safety organizations should look at the nation’s supply chain system in totality and not focus on its components in isolation.
His words: “The SON should be interested in joining efforts to secure every aspect of the logistics chain. So, the agency has to be more involved with other critical agencies like Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) pursuance to the security, safety as well as quality of goods.”
“SON must ensure that the process starts with safe and secure processes from the packing of the shipments. This includes measures that deter or provide alerts to any tempering of the shipments, including alerts of products quality defective as the shipments progressively moves from point of packing to final point loading and offloading at the ports.”
Nweke, further, stressed that inter-agency collaboration with the aim of evolving or deploying the ISO Supply Chain Security Management System will place SON at an advantageous position to attain its goals.
“I will respectively request the SON supervisory Trade Ministry to seek collaboration with the Transport Ministry with an intent to develop a National Supply Chain Security Program, taking a cue from Singapore,” he said.
While agreeing that SON’s regulatory role is key to the preservation of lives and the well-being of Nigerian citizens, Nweke argued that this should not be politicized by SON with a clamour to return to the ports incessantly.
“Rather than the persistent clamouring that tends to portray itself as if it fails to mann the ports it would be unable to discharge its functions effectively; SON should review the activities of its contracted inspection agents abroad at the ports of origin to curb the influx of substandard goods into the country,” he queried.
He also advised the SON Director General and his management team to look beyond the ports by investigating how the transhippment of substandard goods eventually enters Nigeria markets and why Nigerian trading public prefer to patronize neighbouring ports instead of the nation’s ports.