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‘Government losing revenue to counterfeiting in FMCG sector’

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Margaret Olele

Stakeholders in the nation’s Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector have called on government and key regulators to deploy anti-counterfeiting measures as well as policies to protect investments in the sector, considering its potential and impact on everyday life.

Specifically, some of the stakeholders under the aegis of American Business Council (ABC) stated that potential investors seeking opportunities in the Nigerian market have raised concerns about the risks their brands may be exposed to in a weak regulatory environment.

While the economic damage of counterfeiting is difficult to quantify, not least because of a high dark figure, conservative estimates put the value at about $3 trillion, while consumers are at risk of damage to health due to possible deficiencies in processing or by poor quality of the raw materials used in producing a product.

Speaking during an interactive session with journalists on activities of its members in Nigeria, the Chief Executive Officer/ Executive Secretary, American Business Council, Margaret Olele noted that while both local and foreign firms were affected by activities of counterfeiters, government loses a lot of revenue that could have been generated from tax when firms perform well in the economy.

Olele explained that while government have been fairly responsive to the needs of the companies in the FMCG sector, there are other challenges that should be addressed for optimum growth and economic impact to be realised.

On her part, the Marketing Manager, Kimberly-Clark sub-Saharan Africa, Oluwakemi Saliu, reiterated the need for government to support the growth of the FMCG sector considering the rising number of consumers and demand for locally manufactured goods.

With Nigeria being referred to as one of the frontier markets, Saliu expressed worry on why the country cannot be the production hub for the West African market, considering that it has an available market for manufactured goods.

“Local manufacturers are hard hit when parallel imports are allowed into the country for goods that can be produced locally. At Kimberly-Clark, we are responding to consumer needs by being diverse in our product offerings; by producing miniaturised items to cater to different market segments and by embarking of innovative marketing strategies that take into consideration the Nigerian market”, she added.

The Chief Operating Officer of Tolaram Group and Kelloggs, Girish Sharma stated that the company has diversified its offerings and embarking on an expansion drive that would see the company investing additional N20 billion in Nigeria after its initial N10 billion initial investment.


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