Some of the distributors of Iron rods in Nigeria, under the aegis of Iron Rod Distributors Association of Nigeria (IRDAN), have lamented the rate at which substandard steel products have taken over the Nigerian market.
They described it as a major threat to the lives of the end consumers.
IRDAN lamented that officials of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), who have the mandate to ensure commodity production is of standard quality have, in recent times been foot-dragging in clamping down on companies producing substandard steel products.
This was contained in a statement issued by the National President of IRDAN, Chief Gbenga Awoyale.
According to Awoyale, in June 2021, IRDAN gave an intelligence report to the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), which led to the sealing of some steel production factories found culpable of manufacturing substandard steel products.
It also said three months ago, the association gave the Director-General of SON some information about a company manufacturing substandard steel products and the DG promised to direct his men to take action accordingly. "But to our dismay, nothing is done over the matter to date. The substandard iron rods are in circulation at various Nigeria markets,” Awoyale noted.
He added: “Just a 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.
“Because lives of Nigerians matter to us, we sacrificed our money to purchase some of the substandard steel products and invited SON to come to arrest the steel products we purchased and consequently apprehend the company (officials), surprisingly, SON paid turned a deaf ear to our calls.”
He stated that the increasing rate of building collapse, which has claimed the lives of many Nigerians may not be unconnected to the circulation of substandard steel products and should be checked if the country must ensure structural integrity.
Awoyale further bemoaned the recent indolence of SON officials in handling cases of substandard production while alleging that such officials must be responsible for leaking the intelligence given to them to the producers of substandard steel products, who have now resorted to threatening some members of IRDAN.
“While the association is unperturbed by the threat calls from 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 further called on the Director-General of SON, Farouq Salim to sustain his tempo of uprightness and high performance by checking his subordinates
It also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the alleged sabotage by SON officials.