Experts identify counterfeiting as biggest threat to businesses
Business owners in the country have decried the increase in counterfeiting and and its adverse impact on their businesses.
Experts who spoke at a round table discussion in Lagos, at the 10th anniversary of the Anti Counterfeiting Collaboration of Nigeria (ACC), and International Trademark Association (INTA), recently described the experience as deadly.
The representative of INTA by Uche Nwokocha, said that fighting against counterfeiting in Nigeria is a big challenge that can’t be achieved by the ACC alone, but will require the cooperation of all stakeholders by saying no to the patronage of counterfeit products.
She blamed the incidence of counterfeiting as partly responsible for the current economic recession in Nigeria, as the market is replete with fake products, which are produced with low quality materials.
She argued that this has impacted negatively on the fortunes of the registered genuine products and brands which still pay their taxes in order to boost the Gross domestic product (GDP).
“To quicken the country out of recession, there is the need for government to collaborate with ACC against the fight on fake products made in the country,” she added.
Also speaking on the subject, the Area Head, Regulatory Affairs, British American Tobacco Nigeria and West Africa; Sola Dosunmu, noted that counterfeit products not only deprived the genuine brands and producers alone but also the government of revenues, which is a huge loss to Nigeria’s GDP, now witnessing negative growth rates.
According to him, “Ten per cent of the global problem to businesses has been fake products, and the only way to put an end to it is for government agencies coming together with the professional bodies to fight against substandard products. Also, the end users should stop encouraging them by buying the fake products.”
He noted that the risk also involved losing of beloved ones under the guise of cutting costs by going for cheaper products that endangers lives.
Citing an example of a life lost, he said that a nine-year old girl recently fell sick, but because her parents were poor, they went for a cheaper and road side drug for the innocent girl, who eventually died after taking the fake drug that was given to her by the parents.
The Head, Brand Protection for Africa, Unilever; Desmond Adeola, urged Nigerians to join the struggle to fight against substandard products in the country to save the lives of loved ones.
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