The Chairman, Nigerian National Committee on International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Dr. Afolabi Esan has said that Nigeria would be saving about $85 million yearly if it embraces the global change.
Already, there are ongoing campaigns on the need for Nigerians to adopt energy conservation measures by using efficient, environmental-friendly and durable lighting.
Besides, to ensure that consumers are not ripped off in the course of transition, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has sought the collaboration of General Electric Dealers Association (GEDA) and Electric Dealers Association of Nigeria (EDAN) to ensure that only quality and standard bulbs are sold to consumers.
With a 2016 timeline set for the transition from old incandescent lamps (ILs) to new energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs).
Speaking at the stakeholders’ sanitisation/interactive forum organised by SON on the effects of substandard electric bulbs on the Nigerian economy to mark the 2013 World Standards day in Lagos at the weekend, the IEC Committee chairman noted that the transition was a global trend from which Nigeria could not afford to isolate itself.
Indeed, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had established a regionally coordinated framework to phase-out inefficient incandescent lamps by 2020 in order to save a total of 2.4 terawatt hours of electricity—equivalent to 6.7 per cent of total yearly energy consumption in the region.
The strategy is expected to save the region an estimated $220 million every year in energy costs.
On his part, SON boss, Dr. Joseph Odumodu who led his team to Alaba International market, frowned at the proliferation of substandard electric bulbs in the markets typically characterised by their short life spans due to non-adherence of standards in their production processes by foreign manufacturers.
Odumodu also reiterated the agency’s unwavering stance on the commencement of enforcement to remove all unregistered products from markets nationwide as part of ensuring traceability and boosting consumer confidence in every product offered for sale.
According to him: “It is possible to buy bulbs that can last up to one year with the consumer happy and the seller equally making profit. It is possible for us to celebrate a new Nigeria that is substandard free within one year if we all join hands together.”
He stated that Alaba International market must align its character to its name by reflecting international standards in goods on sale at the market as quality was a global identity.
“I am proud to stress that Nigerian experts under the coordination of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria take active parts in the development of these international standards which are also used as benchmarks upon which the development of national standards for products, systems and services are based.
“There is practically no difference between Nigerian and international standards because the parameters are always the same. Therefore, this market must exemplify quality life, quality products and quality dealers,” he said.
He pointed out that as the nation celebrates this year’s theme for the world standards day “international standards ensure positive change”, stakeholders should rededicate themselves to bringing the desired positive change as individuals and as businesses, stressing that even one per cent presence of substandard products in the market could endanger lives.
“Unfortunately, the effects of substandard products are mostly felt by its victims, we can still change the negative perception being suffered by Nigeria by doing the right kind of business as it is the only way to do sustainable business,” he said.
In his presentation to the importers and dealers on the dangers posed by substandard electric bulbs and the new direction to tow, SON’s Head of Electrical Laboratory, Richard Adewumi, stressed the need to manage Nigeria’s less than sufficient power generation efficiently as 30 per cent of electric consumption was through domestic and industrial lighting.
He also disclosed that available records with SON showed that all the 105 watts electric bulbs in the country were actually less than 40 watts.
“What we are asking for, is that whatever is marked on the bulb must be guaranteed by the manufacturer or the product vendor and CFLS shall not have less than a minimum of 6,000 hours,” he said.
He advised importers to ensure that the manufacturers always adhered to Nigerian quality standards.
In his address, the executive chairman of Electrical Dealers Association of Nigeria (EDAN), Paul Chijioke Okenwa, noted that his association and its sister body General Electrical Dealers Association (GEDA) as a result of a collaboration agreement signed with SON had not left any stone unturned to help nip the influx of substandard electrical products and accessories in the bud.
“Our efforts are connected to the danger substandard products pose to our economy, the fight against substandard products should not be seen as witch-hunting anyone but rather should be viewed as a way to ensure that we all enjoy our hard earned money,” he said.