By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Worried by the influx of fake and substandard products in the Nigerian markets, the House of Representatives yesterday invited the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Adeniyi Adebayo to give explanations on so far measures taken to curb what it said has become a menace.
Also invited were the Director-General /Chief Executive of Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Osita Aboloma and the Director-General, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukere
The trio was to meet with the House Committees on Commerce, Industry, Information, National Orientation and Ethics and Values.
The invitation was occasioned by a motion titled “Need to Investigate the Influx of Fake, Sub-Standard and Counterfeit Products in Nigeria” moved at Wednesday plenary by Hon. Chike Okafor from Imo State and seconded by Hon. Obinna Chidoka from Anambra State.
He said that the domestic markets were awash with the different substandard products.
He said: “The House is worried that the domestic market is awash with all kinds and categories of fake products including electrical, electronics, household appliances and equipment, building materials, automobile parts and the government of Nigeria appears overwhelmed by the enormity of the menace;
“Also worried that sub-standard products manufactured or imported into Nigeria endanger lives and create a disincentive to investments and local production, thereby negating the whole essence of protecting Nigeria industries and have negatively affected the economy as foreign investors and Nigerian entrepreneurs who create jobs and contribute significantly to the economy are closing down because of their inability to compete with fake and sub-standard products being dumped in Nigeria;
“Cognizant that the reoccurring tragedy of collapsed buildings have mostly been linked to the usage of substandard building materials imported or manufactured in Nigeria and also that most vehicular accidents have been attributed to faulty sub-standard or expired mechanical parts and tires;
“Also cognizant that goods and other products produced or imported into Nigeria should be of a standard that guarantees quality, saves lives, encourages local industries and foreign investments in Nigeria and provides value for money”.
Chidoka accused the regulatory bodies such as SON of not sufficiently doing their job.
“The Standards Organisation of Nigeria is vested with the powers to confiscate sub-standard or counterfeit products and also has supervisory and prosecutorial powers against importers, manufacturers and producers of counterfeit products;
“The Standards Organisation of Nigeria is yet to live up to its mandate to ensure the standards and quality of products imported into Nigerian or manufactured locally creating value for money for the products”.
Adopting the motion, the House the Committees 4 weeks within which to conclude its assignment.