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Rep, Rod Dealers to curb substandard steel

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Substandard steel products have been linked to many building collapses.

Nigeria Iron Rod and Steel Dealers Employers Association Union (IRSDEUN) has praised the House of Representatives for stopping the spread of low-quality steel, which has been blamed for numerous structural failures in recent years. The House of Representatives has therefore ordered the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to crack down on the spread of substandard steel production in the country, as per section (4) subsection (l) of the SON Act, 2015. Anyone found in such is subject to prosecution. Since substandard products have been linked to the rising number of building collapses killing Nigerians across the country, the House has also urged the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to take decisive action to eradicate these dangers from the country’s markets.

This resolution was passed after a motion by Aluko Ahmed Yinka, who represents the Ilorin East/South Federal Constituency in the House, was adopted. The motion pleaded with lawmakers to take immediate action to reduce the availability of low-quality product in Nigeria. In August, it was reported that the Iron Rod and Steel Dealers Employers Association Union of Nigeria blamed the usage of defective or inadequate building materials for most building collapse instances in the country. This is what prompted Yinka to introduce the motion. The Union said that in 2022, 61 buildings throughout Nigeria 36 states had collapsed due to the SON’s negligence.

Efforts to curb the illegal act have been commended.

Gbenga Awoyale, IRSDEUN President, issued an address on Tuesday praising the 10th Assembly for its efforts to reduce the availability of low-quality steel products in the country, saying that this action shows how seriously the Assembly takes its responsibility to protect the well-being and security of the people. Awoyale asserts that the Union, among other stakeholders, has been at the centre of the battle against such products without receiving sufficient backing from the government, so the House’s proactive approach to stop the rising increase of such products is well recognised.

However, Awoyale said that while it is commendable that the House is committed to preventing compromising the possibility of punishment of those found accountable in the act of producing such products with efficient enforcement, they are willing to work with the 10th NASS to eliminate those products from the market and ensure the safety of people and their property throughout Nigeria. In addition, he wants to urge President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to fully back the parliament’s noble course for the good of the country.

Many found guilty of the act were not persecuted by SON.

A complete clean-up of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria is needed so that Nigerian building industry is safe. The saboteurs who work with foreign interests to make low-quality steel must be pushed out. In the past week, substandard products worth over a billion Naira were seized from seven separate steel rolling facilities. However, because the perpetrators were not brought to justice, they have since paid official fines and found other ways to avoid prosecution or have simply scrapped and remade the products. The number of building collapses is constantly increasing, with two occurring in the previous month alone, one each in Benue and Lagos.

He added that the companies had signed an indemnity promising to destroy whatever quantity of low-quality goods they were found to have made and start over again. However, that’s different here. In the presence of SON authorities, these low-quality goods were loaded onto trucks for shipment to Nigeria. In particular, whenever the SON is notified of the need to supervise the production in Northern Nigeria, they consistently refuse. This is due to the fact that a former SON DG now owns one of the biggest steel rolling factories in the region. This act of compromise is not unique to steel items; rather, it affects practically all goods supervised by SON.

Political will is needed to restore quality in the sector.

Although they earn more money as sellers when they sell low-quality goods, knowingly putting those goods into the hands of their fellow Nigerians is wrong. That’s why the house has already sacrificed so much and is ready to give even more. This degree of economic sabotage is unfortunately being perpetrated by Nigerians in collusion with foreigners. Although they have been threatened by Indian firms and even SON officials, they are committed to ending the movement of low-quality production in Nigeria. The industry may be made safer for building if only there were the political will to do so.

Related Link

SON: Website

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