Auto Windscreen Dealers condemn importation of substandard products

Auto Windscreen Dealers Association of Nigeria has reported as false, the allegation made against it by the Glass Manufacturers Association of Nigeria over importation of 75 containers of substandard vehicles windscreen into Nigeria, which the association intends to put into the nation’s market soon.The Auto Windscreen Dealers Association in a statement made available to Vanguard and signed by its Chairman, and Secretary-General, Pastor Ernest Umeji and Ibekendu Martins respectively, said that the allegation is false and was meant to malign the complementary efforts of the association to ensure that the commodity is not only made affordable but also ensure that quality ones are supplied the Nigerian consumers.The Association frowned at the publications it said were carried in some major national newspapers, and sponsored by the Glass Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

According to Umeji and Ibekendu, the Glass Manufacturing Association under the umbrella of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) had published that the alleged imported substandard windscreens if allowed into the Nigerian market will lead to the closure of the only two auto glass manufacturing companies in the country, TSG limited and the Isoglass Nigeria Limited.

TSG, it said, has also written to the Governor of Oyo State in that regard complaining that 99 percent of the imported windscreens when subjected to standard test, failed to meet the approved standards, therefore confirming the allegation that substandard windscreens are being imported into the country to the detriment Nigerians and the economy. This claim according to Auto Windscreen Association, is sheer campaign of calumny against it.

The Auto Windscreen Association, however, stated that it has always insisted on achieving a level-playing ground for all stakeholders in the business while maintaining the highest standards as prescribed by the International Standard Organisation (ISO) and the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON).

The alleged imported substandard windscreen according to Auto Windscreen Dealers were ISO certified, therefore, why can it fail a local test. it quipped.

Auto Windscreen Dealers Association said, “It is common knowledge that Nigeria does not design or manufacture basic auto accessories. Much as the association does not foreclose the possibility of substandard products, including windshields, finding their way into the country, the association on its own, conducts researches appropriately and have always instructed its suppliers to go the extra mile to perfection in accordance with international standards, if they (suppliers) want to enjoy continued patronage from Nigerian consumers.

We believe that as a responsible and committed regulatory body, SON is doing a good job and has always insisted on high standards and quality. Therefore, for local manufacturers to use the press to pronounce that 99 percent of the tested windscreens were substandard, casts an unjustified doubt on SON to discharge its regulatory duty. We believe SON is the only body that can make pronouncements regarding standards and not organisations that do not have such powers conferred on them.”

The association says it finds ridiculous , the assertion by local manufacturers that it evades duty on imported windscreens while competent customs men always man the ports, inspecting dutifully all imports. We assert that ISO team carries out strict tests on our commodity to ensure that internationally approved standards are maintained. We also create jobs for Nigerian people and generate foreign exchange for Nigeria,” it said.

600450 Auto Windscreen Dealers condemn importation of substandard products
Date: 30 August 2004

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