Distributors of iron rods in the country, under the aegis of the Iron Rod Distributors Association of Nigeria (IRDAN) have raised the alarm over activities of suspected saboteurs of war against substandard steel products in Nigeria.
Speaking with the Tribune Online in Ilorin on Wednesday, the national president of IRDAN, Chief Gbenga Awoyale, said that officials of the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), with mandate to ensure standard and quality production, have in recent times, been foot-dragging in clamping down on companies producing substandard steel products.
Awoyale said that the development could expose the lives of Nigerians who are the end consumers to threat.
The association said that it had in June 2021, given intelligence to the SON leading to sealing of some steel production factories found culpable in manufacturing of substandard steel products.
Awoyale, however, said that, “about three months ago, IRDAN gave the Director-General of the SON some information about a company manufacturing substandard steel product with the DG promising to direct his men to take action accordingly. To our dismay, nothing has been done over the matter to date.
“The substandard iron rods are in circulation at various Nigeria markets.”
“Just few days ago, we contacted SON to alert them of continuing production of substandard products by a particular company, giving them full details and address of the company. They took no action and instead, we started receiving threat calls from unknown numbers”, he said.
The association, which said that lives of Nigerians are sacred and should be protected, added that it went further to prove their findings with the purchase of some substandard steel products to show the SON.
“Because lives of Nigerians matter to us, we sacrificed our money to purchase some of the substandard steel products and invited SON to come and investigate the steel products we purchased and consequently apprehend the company. Surprisingly, SON paid deaf ears to our calls.”
The association noted that the increasing rate of building collapse, which it said had been claiming lives, is not unconnected to the circulation of substandard steel products, adding that the development should be checked if the country must ensure structural integrity.
Awoyale bemoaned the alleged indolence of the SON officials directed to handle the unattended cases of substandard production and expressed disappointment, adding that such officials must be responsible for leaking the intelligence given to them to the producers of substandard steel products, who in-turn resort to threatening of some members of IRDAN.
“While the association is unperturbed about the threat calls by substandard products cabals, we shall continue to hold it as a point of duty to our country and its people, advocacy and support for standard products to ensure the safety of lives and properties of Nigerians”, Awoyale said.
The association also called on the DG SON, Farouq Salim, to sustain his tempo of uprightness and high performance by checkmating his subordinates, appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to check the alleged sabotage and support SON in pursuit of its mandate to ensure standard production across sectors.
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