The influx of fake and substandard products into the country is responsible to the collapse of many industries in Nigeria, this has rendered over a million Nigerians jobless in the textile industry alone, as a result of activities of counterfeiters, according to the Director-General of the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Dr Joseph Odumodu.
Odumodu made this revelation in Abuja on Wednesday, while speaking at a one-day anti-counterfeit conference, organized by Hewlett Packard (HP), to sensitise Nigerians on the evils consumption of fake and substandard products.
About 40 per cent of products sold in Nigerian market are fake and substandard, indicating four out of 10 goods in the Nigerian market are fake, a situation Odumodu described as unacceptable.
As the regulatory framework to fight the counterfeit merchants in Nigeria is weak, Nigeria has been suffering unquantifiable lost, including loss of several lives to consumption of fake and substandard products.
Over a million have lost jobs in the textile industry in the last 20 years to counterfeiting. The substandard products come mainly in from Asia.
Odumodu said that counterfeiters have destroyed the nation’s economy, the counterfeiters are like termites; before you know it, they have destroyed the foundation.
As the Nigerian people were either ignorant of the negative impact of the fake products or forced to consume the substandard products because of poverty, the illicit trade thrived in Nigeria.
While calling on Nigerians to always reject counterfeit products and report cases to the appropriate authorities, he, however, noted that “the challenge they have in Nigeria today is that they do not have a strong regulatory framework as in Europe and America.
The HP Regional Investigations Manager, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Mr Geoffrey Eyles, noted that counterfeiting had increasingly become a more organised, transborder and sophisticated criminal act on a global scale, where operations took place in virtually every region and economy.
The counterfeit products not only cheated customers out on their monies, but also had a very significant economic impact on government revenue - lost tax revenue, lost gross revenue, job losses – and a shadow economy on a global and local scale and in some cases, posed risk to health and safety.
The global trade in counterfeit goods was growing in Africa, with Nigeria increasingly being targeted as a market for counterfeit merchandise.
Fake goods impact businesses and global trade through lost revenue, damage to brands and the negative effects on hard-earned reputation and consumer confidence, said Jeff Kwasny, Brand Protection Programme Manager for HP’s Printing and Personal Systems group.
The anti-counterfeit conference was to help fight fake products and fraudulent marketing, while protecting customers from being cheated by illegal scheming.
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