By Prince Osuagwu
Leadership of the Ikeja computer market, weekend, dismissed what it described as outrageous statement made by Director General of Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu, that the market sells 80 per cent fake products.
Recall that Odumodu at the HP Counterfeit Africa Forum, in Abuja, last Wednesday, had regretted that the computer market in Ikeja, known around the world as the largest IT market in Africa, sells more of counterfeit products than original.
The DG said that the perception of the market from outside the world suggests a genuine market environment which elevates the country among markets in world economy, but regretted that, “unfortunately, 80 per cent of their activities are illicit”
He also berated the level at which counterfeit products thrive in Nigeria, saying that activities of counterfeiters in the country have helped increase Nigeria’s already bloated labour market.
But Secretary of Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria, CAPDAN, Mr. Godwin Enemoh said that the claim by SON DG was not only lie, but outrageous, unguarded and deceitful.
According to him: “I was shocked to read the outrageous claim of the SON DG in Vanguard newspapers. How can such a top government official make such a statement which he cannot verify. In the first place he has not come into the market since he became the DG and has not met with the leadership of the market.
” As a matter of fact, his only presence in the market was a couple of weeks back, in Gestapo manner to disrupt activities in the market. So saying that 80 per cent of products in the market are fake, was unbecoming of a government official,” he added.
For him, “a good SON DG should regulate the market, not to destroy it. You have not come to the market to take a study, so you can’t know what goes on. You have not even met the leaders. That is what a proactive leader should do. But you are not doing that. Regulating the market from pages of newspapers is not the right procedure.”
Enemoh, however, agreed that there were fake products in the market, but claimed it was not more than 30 per cent.
“The market can not have more than 30 percent of fake products. Even at that,most of the people dealing on fake products, we have made to register their products and have trademarks. So it is easy to identify.
He said that the best way to solve the counterfeit problem in the market was for “SON to understand the market, call us and have a meeting so that we dialogue and find a common solution. Otherwise, Odumodu’s statement may discourage those who may want to invest in the market from within or outside, It may also discourage those who would want to find jobs in the market”