Gongoni Nigeria Limited, makers of Rambo insecticide, says it is devastated after truckloads of cloned Rambo insecticide products were intercepted in faraway Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
The counterfeited products were reportedly impounded by Ivorian police.
The Executive Director in the firm, Mr. Kingsley Onwukwe, said the goods were routed through the ports of Cotonou and Lome to the Ivorian city.
Product counterfeiting has threatened the survival of local manufacturing firms in Nigeria for years. Established brands are known to be victims of this practice.
“The cloning has been happening; people will come here and take our products to China and make low quality of the same products, only to bring them back to Nigeria and sell at cheap and ridiculous prices,” the President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Frank Jacobs, said.
He said that the association was taking the matter up with the government through the Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council.
The Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Muda Yusuf, also said that known and good Nigerian brands in textile, electrical cables, household consumables and other products had been victims of counterfeiters, adding that the practice was having adverse impact on the local manufacturing industry.
He said perpetrators took samples of the affected brands outside the country to mass-produce and bring back to sell in Nigeria and other African countries.
A former Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Mr. Paul Orhiri, once said that there was a global counterfeiting ring in Asia where Nigerian perpetrators went to fake products of local manufacturers for sale into Nigeria and other countries.
Yusuf described the practice as a trade malpractice and economic sabotage and noted that the only way to arrest the situation was to strengthen the nation’s institutions that were responsible for monitoring and regulating these products.
He said agencies such as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, NAFDAC and Nigeria Customs Service needed to be strengthened to curb the practice.
When asked what the service was doing to protect local manufacturers against the practice, the Public Relations Officer, NCS, Mr. Joseph Attah, said that for products that were smuggled into Nigeria, the NCS was collaborating with their owners to stop their importation.
He said the service however had no jurisdiction over products that were taken from Asia to Cotonou or any other country.
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