By Felix Khanoba
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) Taskforce on Steel has shutdown 13 companies across the country over breach in stipulated standards.
Chairman of the task force, Engr. Enebi Onucheyo, said the affected companies are located in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Abia and Edo states.
A statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Monday by SON, said various forms of infractions were detected in the companies following a nationwide market surveillance carried out between November 2019 and January 2020.
Enebi stated that samples of various steel products were obtained from the open market as well as the facilities of the companies during the surveillance exercises.
The taskforce boss averred that given the SON classification of steel bars as life-endangering products, the Nigeria Industrial Standards provides for unique identification marks for every locally manufactured or imported steel bars for easy traceability.
According to him, laboratory tests and analysis carried out on the samples revealed that most of them failed to meet the minimum requirements for ′diameter′ and ′mass per meter′ as provided in the Nigeria Industrial Standard (NIS 117:2004).
While calling steel manufacturing companies to ensure strict compliance to the requirements of the NIS 117:2004, Enebi said SON had earlier issued a warning before the crack down on the erring companies.
He stressed that the exercise would be a continuous one in furtherance of the SON commitment to protect consumers from the dangers associated with substandard and life-endangering products.
Commenting on the standards enforcement activity, the SON Director General, Osita Aboloma reiterated the need to promote quality made-in-Nigeria products preparatory to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).