Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has unveiled additional strategy for reducing the incidence of substandard products in the country at a stakeholders’ workshop for the North-Central zone, held in Abuja.
The Director General Mr. Osita Aboloma, stated that the planned introduction of Product Authentication Mark (PAM) for imported and locally manufactured products in Nigeria will assure the quality of products for purchase by consumers as well as tackle cloning and production of counterfeiting head on.
Represented by the Head Product Authentication Mark (PAM) Unit, Mr. Usman Mohammed, the DG stated that PAM is the latest innovation by SON to help in the reduction of substandard products in the country through the affixing of hologram stickers with security features on products certified for sale in Nigeria.
According to him, SON through the PAM sticker has added another layer of Standardization and Quality control to the manufacturing and supply chain in line with international best practice in other parts of the world, including Africa.
“SON’s strategy is to deploy PAM to thwart the unscrupulous efforts of some manufacturers, producers and importers, who deal in substandard products through cloning and counterfeiting.
Consumers only need to use a downloadable application on smart phones to scan the code on the sticker or send an SMS to a dedicated number to verify if products are certified by SON and fit for use, once PAM becomes operational from February, 2018” he said.
The other benefits of the PAM as enumerated by Mr. Mohammed include the hologram security feature which will help to promote quality products and items in the market as products of first choice by consumers because the quality has been assured by SON as against products that do not carry the sticker.
The PAM sticker is also geared towards ensuring that counterfeiters and counterfeit goods have no patronage from Consumers thus eliminating them from Nigerian markets.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Head SONCAP Unit, Mr. Pious Manji stated that SON is continually working on ways of reducing substandard products in the country, stressing that the introduction of PAM is yet another innovation to add value to already existing regiments of conformity assessment programmes that have been put in place over time.
These according to him includes, the Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) for locally manufactured products and the off-shore Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) to checkmate the incidences of the manufacture and import of substandard product into the country respectively.
Mr. Manji said the introduction of the PAM sticker programme is the missing link in the conformity assessment value chain by providing a robust way of authenticating imported and locally manufactured products that have gone through SON’s standardization, quality assurance and certification processes at a glance.
He called on producers, manufacturers, importers and consumers alike to key into this program which is meant to assure quality, ensure safety of lives and guarantee value for money for all Nigerians.
Implementation of the PAM sticker scheme is slated to commence in February 2018, for products imported without the PAM stickers they are only allowed to be in the markets until 31st March 2018 while local manufacturers and importers with stocks likely to be in the market after the deadline are advised to apply online from the SON website .