The Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), andÂ National EnvironmentalÂ Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) in collaboration with the Alaba International MarketÂ Amalgamated Traders Association (AIMATA) have set up a joint task force to curb the rising profile of counterfeitingÂ and piracy in the market.
Mrs. Ify Umenyi, Director General, CPC in a 16 paragraph speech at the inauguration of the task forceÂ in Lagos,Â which comprised of 20 AIMATA members and 15 government officials from the sides CPC, SON and NESREA, saidÂ the raidÂ on suspected fakers of electrical and electronics products prompted the setting up of the task force.
During the raid, she recalled that leaders and members of AIMATA prevailed, during which an agreement was reached,Â that a joint task force be constituted to combat the scourge.
To this effect, she said the agreement reached has brought about the setting up of the committee which she hopesÂ will help stem or totally eradicate piracy inn the market, but further advised that the traders should not fake, butÂ rather, should import genuine products on their trade names.
She stated that the setting up of the task force was also because the market had been marked as haven forÂ counterfeiting and pirated products.
She said, â€œowing to the fact that the task of fighting this ill is multifaceted, the council solicited and got theÂ consent of SON and NESREA on e-waste control, all these, she observed, was to ensure the cleansing process of theÂ market is done comprehensively.
Chief. Achike Udenwa, Minister of Commerce and Industry, represented by David Adejumo, Director of Trade,Â Multilateral Trade of the ministry reiterated that the marketÂ recently has gained notoriety for being used as aÂ transit point for fake and substandard electrical and electronics products, including pirated optical discs, butÂ said, that counterfeiting and piracy are twin economic vices that seriously undermine consumers safety and welfare,Â destroy genuine businesses and innovations, increase unemployment and reduce national earnings through tax evasion.
Thus, governmentâ€™s is determined to achieve the vision 20- 2020 which intends to putting Nigeria among the top 20Â industrialised nations of the world, â€œ we cannot turn a blind eye to these unpatrotic activities of some fewÂ Nigerians and their foreign collaborators, who impoverish and endanger the citizenry and plunder our nationalÂ economy,â€ the minister foamed.
Speaking on e-Waste, the Director General of NESREA, represented by of Mallam. M.M Umaru, Director, EnvironmentÂ Policy and Control explained that used electronic and electrical equipments contain hazardous substances dangerousÂ to health, but could become of economic benefit, and commands high prices in the international market, even betterÂ than the price of oil.
His words, â€œ the fast growing volume of e-Waste imports in developing countries, Nigeria in particular, whether inÂ the form of post-consumer goods or end-of-life equipment imported or generated domestically means that consumers useÂ their hard earned resources to endangertheir health and degrade the environment by patronizing end- of- lifeÂ electrical and electronic appliances. The danger inherent in this practice is enormous and must be tackled squarely.Â NESREA insisted.