By Imam Moromoke
The Iron Rod Distributors Association of Nigeria (IRDAN) has commended Mr Farouk Salim led Standard Organization of Nigeria, SON, over its swiftness in taking actions against ‘saboteurs’, whose stock in trade is distribution of substandard steel products.
IRDAN, in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, Alh. Owolabi Yisa, said “The Director General of SON, Mr. Farouq Salim has truly fulfilled his pledge to frontally fight and stop proliferation of fake steel products, with the sealing of a company in Alimosho area stocking substandard iron rods, supplied by African Steel Nigeria Limited, Ikorodu upon getting hints from the Association”.
IRDAN said it traced trailers loading the substandard products from African Steels Nigeria Limited factory in Ikorodu. While one of the vehicles was traced down to Alimosho, the destination of the distributor, others faced Shagamu road and most likely going to the Eastern markets. It also said the waybill also confirmed their claim.
The Association recalled that Mr. Salim gave 3months ultimatum for all iron rod distributors to clear their stores of substandard products and requested that anyone noticed to have stocked new batches of substandard products be reported to SON.
“We are elated that SON made good its promise by taking prompt action of sealing up the iron rod distribution company stocking substandard products and hold the belief that this will safe Nigerians risk of building collapse”.
“We however admonish leadership of SON to ensure matters concerning substandard iron rods are followed to the latter for the safety of all, as those who trades in them usually have their ways through corrupt elements among the Organization.”
“We implore the Director General to ensure those caught in the act are severely dealt with, in accordance with the provision of the Law”, the statement added.
The Association noted that it is not unaware that “The owners of African Steels Nigeria Limited are strong and well connected people in the country, who have been boasting of ‘settling everything within a week’ and get the substandard products released. We urge the DG, Mr. Salim Farouq to use his good office to show Nigerians that no one is above the laws of the land.”
“The DG is a Nigerian, we are Nigerians. But the Indian manufacturing the iron rods are not. Products manufactured for export are always standard, we wondered why these manufacturing companies formed the habit of producing substandard products for Nigeria”, IRDAN queried.
IRDAN urged SON to do thorough investigation and mandate return of the products to the manufacturer for remelting and reproduction to a standard form for the distributors, to serve as lesson for the manufacturers.