Director-General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria SON, Mallam Farouk A. Salim has issued a stern warning to unscrupulous manufacturers who do not adhere to standards and risk the lives of fellow Nigerians with life-endangering products.
The DG SON gave the warning during a recent joint enforcement activity between the SON Lagos 1 Office, and the Surveillance and Intelligence Monitoring (SIM) Unit’s raid on Rida International Plastics Ltd, Ilupeju Industrial Estate, Ilupeju Lagos.
According to Mallam Salim, who was represented by the Coordinator SIM, Mr Suleiman Isa, the company is suspected to be manufacturing household plastic products with recycled toxic materials.
The SON boss stated that Nigerians need to enjoy value for their money, and their safety is paramount to SON, saying that the agency will do everything possible to ensure that fake products are reduced to a minimum level as it will no longer going to be business as usual for those cutting corners and endangering the lives of Nigerians.
According to Salim, the Company was not only caught engaging in the illicit act of producing buckets and bowls with recycled materials such as used vehicle battery casings, which is toxic but also flouting the stipulated Nigeria Industrial Standards.
The DG SON stated, “there are approved standards for Food Grade Products, the NIS 800:2017 and NIS 801:2017 and the representative of this company participated in the TC that reviewed the standards sometime in 2017”.
Salim further disclosed that “for Food Grade plastics, no recycled material should be included in production at all, instead, the raw materials should be virgin resins of High-Density Polypropylene (HDPE, Poly Propylene Homopolymer (PPHP) or Polypropylene Copolymer (PPCP)”
Other grades of food-grade plastics allowable are for sachet water use and are Linear Low-Density Polyethene (LLDPE) and Low-Density Polyethene (LDPE), he said.
Also speaking during the enforcement activity, Mr Ayodele Omotoso, State Coordinator Lagos 1 Office disclosed that the materials seen at the factory are not Food Grade materials, as they contain a lot of trace metals which are carcinogenic and therefore injurious to health.
Omotoso said that “when you use these kinds of materials to produce bowls and buckets they may be used to serve food, for instance, and it can have a lot of harmful effects on the delicate organs of the body when ingested”.
According to him, the plastic company had earlier refused SON officers enterance into the company to carry out their lawful assignment, even after several entreaties they were still refused entrance, he lamented.
All attempts to get the proprietor who was on site when the raid took place to comment to the press was futile, as he refused to speak to the press.
However, having flouted the law, the three suspects including the M.D of the Company were arrested and detained by detectives from the Federal Fraud Unit Alagbon, Lagos until investigations are complete.
The company was sealed and put on hold until further notice.