As President Bola Ahmed Tinubu constitute the Federal Executive Council with portfolios assigned to newly appointed ministers, the Iron Rod and Steel Dealers Employers Union of Nigeria (IRSDEUN) has called on the new administration and the 10th National Assembly to sanitise the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) to rid it of internal saboteurs aiding production and distribution of substandard products for Nigerians’ consumption.
Reacting to the recent collapse of a multi-storey building at Lagos Street in Garki, Abuja which claimed and trapped many lives, national president of IRSDEUN, Chief Gbenga Awoyale, lamented that the nation’s construction markets are too full of substandard products.
“The saturation of our construction markets with substandard products is alarming. Nigerians are daily being exposed to risk of substandard products and the situation are appearing helpless with the nonchalance of the SON.
“A major cause of building collapse cases, which have claimed many lives and fortunes in Nigeria, are due to the use of defective or substandard building materials. In 2022, no fewer than 61 buildings collapsed across the 36 states of Nigeria”, he said.
Awoyale, who said that the iron rod dealers union had in recent times extended hands of fellowship to SON in its determination to rid the country of substandard steel products, advised the regulatory authority to deal decisively with saboteurs who aid manufacturers of these substandard products.
According to Awoyale, “Our union has shown so much commitment to nipping in the bud the challenge of substandard steel products. On many occasions, we have given SON scoops. At a point, we purchased these substandard items as evidence and called on SON to come and make an arrest. But till date, no one has been prosecuted or made to face the wrath of the law. It has been a roller coaster.
“We feel strongly that there are saboteurs within SON and the regulatory body needs to be sanitized in the interest of safety of Nigerians, who are at the risk of losing their properties and lives to substandard building products.
“For crying out loud, these expatriates manufacture standard quality products from here for export to other countries. It is, however, disturbing that it is in Nigeria where they are producing that they distribute substandard steel products for end users. Yes, it is more profit for us to distribute the substandard products. But we can’t be making unholy wealth at the expense of the lives of fellow Nigerians. The producers will, sooner or later, go back to their countries.
“We call on President Tinubu and the leadership of the Nigeria Senate and Federal House of Representatives to rise up to the challenge and save Nigerians from these callous manufacturers, who are majorly expatriates”, he added.