Thursday, August 7, 2014 10:18 am
Abuja – Multinational Information Technology Company, Hewlett Packard (HP) has called on Nigeria’s Federal Government and other interest groups to intensify the fight against counterfeit products.
Regional Investigations Manager, Europe, Middle-East and Africa of HP, Geoffrey Eyles, made the call at the 2014 Anti-Counterfeit Conference, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Eyles said the aim of the conference was to enlighten manufacturers and businessmen on the dangers and risks of importation and sales of counterfeit products in Nigeria.
According to him, there is also the need to contain the illegal activities of pirates which affects reduction in economic growth.
He said that the issue of counterfeiting of and sales of products was a global problem that had serious implications on economic and health.
Eyles said it became necessary for governments, businesses and consumers to find a lasting solution to the consequence of counterfeit products in Africa, especially in Nigeria.
“Hp is concerned because being a leader in the high-tech industry sector, we place big priority on customers’ protection and loyalty, and customers are more cheated when you look at the rate at which products are counterfeited in the markets.
“It became necessary for us to raise awareness on the effect and consequences of counterfeit trade, that is why we organised this conference to refresh our commitment to Nigerian customers and the global community.
“This is an avenue for us to help work with government and other stakeholders to help fight against fake products and fraudulent marketing to reduce cheating on customers,’’ Eyles said.
He noted that the Nigerian market was growing bigger every day for the sales of IT products, adding that this was part of the reasons why counterfeiting was also growing and penetrating the markets.
Dr Joseph Odumodu, the Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), said the organisation would support the company and other interested companies to combat counterfeit products.
Odumodu said as at 2011 when he assumed office that the level of counterfeit product stood at 80 per cent, adding that it had been reduced to 40 per cent in 2013.
“We are trying our best in controlling the situation but more manufacturers need to work together in the fight because most of their so called sole distributors are responsible for the production and sales of such fake products.
“We are working with other government agencies to wipe out the sales of inferior products in the country because of the negative health and financial implications,’’ Odumodu said.
The Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Alhaji Abdullah Dikko, said counterfeiting was the major challenge being faced by the service daily.
Dikko, represented by Grace Adeyemo, a customs officer, said efforts were being made to fight against counterfeits in the country by ceasing and destroying any inferior good imported into the country.
He said that it was unlawful to re-export any counterfeit goods imported into the country.
“On this note, it is important that any suspected counterfeit product, manufacturer or distributors should be reported by this law enforcement agents including customs can go against them,’’ he said.
Earlier, Prof. Bankole Sodipo, one of the resource persons, advised companies to always seek legal redress whenever their products had been faked.
Sodipo said that though, the legal system in Nigeria was slow, but assured manufacturers they would get justice at the end of the day.