By Godfrey Bivbere
FORMER Chairman of International Market Association (Electronics) Alaba, IMAE, Leonard Okafor, has said that most of the fake products being imported into the country presently were being shipped in by Chinese.
Okafor was speaking at an awareness programme on “Zero Tolerance To Sub-standard Products” organized by the IMAE in conjunction with Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON.
The former IMAE chairman said that these Chinese have several shiploads of sub-standard products not needed by other countries on the high sea awaiting opportunity berth in the nation’s ports.
He also blamed SON for the continued faking of products in the country, noting that the idea of SONCAP was initiated by IMAE under his leadership.
He explained that the intention was to have SON carry out testing of products locally, starting with the most relevant ones until they acquire that capacity for testing all goods.
According to him, “Most of us have graduated trying to do our best in product branding. The greatest problem now we are facing is Chinese people who have taken us out of this market.
“What we are thinking of is the Alaba people, you are talking to government. Look at all the warehouses around this Alaba, it is owned by Chinese people. What is rejected in other countries, they will just move 10 containers, 20 containers down here.”
He, however, assured that it is possible to reduce sub-standard products in the country by 70 per cent in a year if the right things are done.
Speaking earlier, Director in charge of Inspectorate, Compliance Directorate, Obiora Manafa, advised IMAE members to register their products to show seriousness.
Manafa noted that unbranded products created room for faking, stressing further that efforts put into faking should be put into branding of their products. In his words, “Unbranded products automatically have failed even before they start. Products that fail performance test will be seized and destroyed.
“If the products fails safety standard, opportunity is given to the owners to correct it but if it passes the safety and standard test but is not branded, the owners will be made to complete all the processes for branding before it can be allowed into the market.”