Border closure restricted influx of contraband goods, says FG
• Counsels Nigerians to shun fake, substandard products
The Federal Government yesterday said the closure of the nation’s borders helped immensely to contain the importation of contraband goods, urging consumers to shun fake and substandard products.
Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Babatunde Irukera, made the disclosure at a national campaign on quality with the theme, “Competitiveness and Culture of Quality”, in Ibadan.
Urging Nigerians to patronise only quality goods, the FCCPC boss stated: “If you inculcate the culture of quality, you invariably have culture of excellence. One of the reasons why our markets are flooded with substandard materials is that about 60 per cent of Nigerians know that something is fake, and still go for it. If we can depart from that, we will change the game and the nation. The most important thing is to educate consumers.”
He went on: “We need to inculcate the culture of quality. People must begin to reject substandard goods. The most important thing is for the people to demand quality goods. It is important people should shun what is not of high quality.
“The more educated the people are about their rights, the better it is for them. We are taking the message to the grassroots as they form an important part of nation-building.
“So, the government must do some work. You can see that the borders are closed. The Comptroller General of Customs said this has phenomenally assisted in restricting the importation of contraband goods into the country. If the borders are opened again, there will be incredible demand for substandard products. We are working with consumers for them to know that substandard goods are a violation of their rights.”
In his remarks, the Oyo State Coordinator of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Pius Lawan Manji, said quality was critical and forms one of the pillars of a viable and sustainable system.His words: “To imbibe the culture of quality in manufacturers and service providers, there is the need to ensure stakeholders’ participation and support for standardisation at regional and international levels.
“Also, there is need to encourage manufacturers, service providers, regulators and research institutions to adhere to standards.“With the present administration preaching diversification of the economy, integrating standardisation in the national economy policy will ensure economic growth, most especially in the non-oil sector, and in turn promote the culture of quality among manufacturers and service providers.”