About N8 billion worth of cloned electric cables has been uncovered by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in Lagos.
The SON’s enforcement team uncovered the two warehouses at the Ajangbadi area of Lagos, where 20 different brands of cloned cables were kept. Made-in-Nigeria cables and other brands like NOCAN, Surecan, Necaco, Kablemex, Purecan and Nigertin, among others, were cloned in China.
SON Director, Inspectorate and Compliance Bede Obayi conducted reporters round the fake projects on behalf of agency’s Director-General Osita Aboloma.
He said the items belonged to Estobest Electrical Limited.
He said the firm’s officials and others implicated in the illegal deal would be made to face the wrath of the law.
He said the company targeted and cloned Nigerian cables already certified by the SON, in deceptive packages.
He added that more of such firms would be uncovered.
According to him, SON had made some enviable progress in the area of sanitising the nation’s cable market.
Aboloma added that dubious importers were trying to truncate that achievement by going overseas to clone Nigerian cables adjudged to be best in the world.
The SON chief said: “All these cloned Nigerian cables were made in China, but packaged as made-in-Nigeria products.
“You know we are proud of made-in-Nigeria cables, because it is about the best cable all over the world. This illegal act will not be accepted. SON will not allow it. We are going to go after the importer and prosecute him.”
According to Aboloma, the firm hid the fake items in the warehouse in a residential area to avoid the prying eyes of the regulatory agencies.
He said SON enforcement team would continue to burst dubious importers who resort to bringing in substandard products.
“Nobody can imagine someone coming down here to fully stock two buildings with substandard cables. These are purported to be Nigerian brands but made in China”, he said.
He wondered how the country could make progress when some Nigerians by themselves were sabotaging the effort of the government.
“Some Nigerian companies are laying off staff because of low sales. Because the government has now focused on promoting quality products made in Nigeria, these people now go abroad, fake Nigerian products already certified by the SON. Those behind it would be made to face the full wrath of the law, because it is a clear case of fraud,” he said.
According to him, the agency decided to evacuate the warehouse in line with SON mandate, and to ensure that the products do not find a way to the market.
Abolomareassured that since the SON now had prosecutorial powers, it would ensure that those behind the illegal act are prosecuted.
He advised consumers to be sure of where they buy their cables and making sure it is certified by the SON.