The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has said it sealed 13 steel factories across the nation for standards infractions.
The Chairman of its Task Force on Steel, Mr Enebi Onucheyo, addressed reporters on Monday in Lagos on the development.
Onucheyo said the factories, located in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Abia and Edo states, would remain shut till further notice.
The SON official said the companies were shut, following a nationwide market surveillance carried out by the organisation’s task force between November 2019 and January 2020.
He added that samples of various steel products were obtained from open market and the companies’ facilities during the surveillance.
“Because of SON’s classification of steel bars as life-endangering products, the Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS) provides unique identification marks for every locally manufactured or imported steel bars for easy traceability.
“Laboratory tests and analysis done on the samples revealed that most companies fail to meet the minimum requirements for diameter and mass per meter as provided in NIS 117:2004.
“These are critical parameters in the standard for reinforcement bars for concrete,” he said.
Onucheyo said the companies were shut after an earlier warning to all steel manufacturing companies to ensure strict compliance with best standards.
The task force chairman said some of the companies were found to have tampered with products earlier placed on hold by SON in their facilities.
He explained that an unregistered identification mark “GE” was discovered on one of the products sampled.
Onucheyo said it would be a continuous exercise to further the organisation’s commitment to protect consumers from the dangers associated with substandard and life-endangering products.
“This is in view of incessant collapse of buildings and structures across the country.
“The exercise is also aimed at ensuring that consumers get optimum value for their hard earned money,” he said.
SON’s Director-General, Mr Osita Aboloma, who commented on the enforcement activity, reiterated the need to promote quality Made-in-Nigeria products preparatory to implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Aboloma said strict enforcement of conformity to the requirements of NIS would facilitate export and prevent dumping of goods into the markets.