The Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, has partnered online trading platforms to address influx of substandard goods into the country.
The Head of Department, Consumer Complaints of SON, Mosunmola Samuel, disclosed this at a news conference in Lagos on Friday.
Mrs Samuel said the move was to check the activities of unscrupulous dealers who would want to take advantage of online platforms to make Nigeria a dumping ground for substandard goods.
According to her, e-commerce is sophisticated and dynamic which in turn makes it difficult to track substandard goods because most of these dealers do not have warehouses or fixed addresses.
She said the partnership would help to track down dealers who would want to abuse online platforms to sell their substandard wares.
Mrs Samuel urged consumers to always report to SON whenever they had issues with products bought both online and at the physical markets.
She said: “The growth of e-commerce in the Nigerian community is becoming huge and many steps have been taken for its promotion, but there are still lots to be done to make it operate in accordance with standards in the country.
“This is why we are working assiduously in partnering online merchants to ensure that Nigeria is not a destination for substandard goods.
“We get the feedback through the head of our public relations and follow up with directives to online merchants to stop sales of such product immediately we get a complaint and they will pull it down.
“You know with online marketing, you don’t need to have a shop or sell bulk, all you need is just a handfull of those products and you are already in business,” she said.
She pointed out that e-commerece consumers could get their products from overseas as personal effects.
“And you know in such areas, SON will not directly stop the importation until the products imported as personal products are brought online to sell to Nigerian consumers,” Samuel said.
She noted that it was based on such issues that the organisation was canvassing to be at the ports for on- the -spot inspection and testing.
Mrs Samuel, however, urged online merchants to strictly adhere to quality products and services to achieve inclusive growth.
“The world all over is about standards and we are working tirelessly to educate Nigerians so as to be abreast with global trend.
“On e-commerce, we have so many operating on different platforms and if these products are not registered with our product registration, it means that they are not complying with the requirements of our act.
“So, we need to check and find out where these products are coming from and for every products coming into the country, there is always a major channel,” she said.
She said the organisation was appreciative of feedback from consumers, adding that it showed the level of confidence reposed in the organisation and the Federal Government.
“We are proud for the trust in us to start our consumer protection mandate as it also helps us to develop and introduce new standards,” she added.
She observed that consumer complaints were the first steps of redress that consumers took in the process of consumer protection, stressing that feedback had more power than ever.
“Hence, this is the most important aspect of every business and SON recognising this, which is why our customer feedback unit is capable of addressing consumer complaints,” she added.
She reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to effective management of complaints in an accountable, transparent, timely and fair manner.
According to her, effective complaints management remains integral to good client service.