House Urges FCCPC, NAFDAC, SON to Enhance Capacity to Combat Fake Products
The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to simplify the process of laying complaints on suspected producers and importers of fake products as well as provide an enhanced enforcement capacity to combat the menace.
The resolution followed the adoption of a motion on the ‘Need to Eradicate Fake Products from the Nigerian Market and Stores’ moved by Hon. Jimoh Abdul Raheem Olajide at yesterday’s plenary.
The lawmaker, while presenting the motion, noted that over the years, Nigeria has become a major dumping ground for fake products, and their proliferation has led to sicknesses and eventual deaths of unsuspecting Nigerians. He noted that fake products include but not limited to unauthorised or illegally manufactured, reproduced and altered products associated with abuse of recognised intellectual property rights, such as trademark, design or copyright for various products, including currencies, clothing, electronics, automotive parts, building materials, medical supplies, foods, drinks and chemicals among others.
Furthermore, Olajide added that on November 24, 2021, it was reported in the media that the Senate had initiated a bill to prohibit the importation of fake goods in Nigeria.
According to the lawmaker, “An online platform called Chekkit recently outlined 10 most commonly known counterfeited products in the Nigerian market, including packaged foods, pharmaceuticals, footwear, clothing, leather goods, automotive parts, optical media (CDs and DVDs), cosmetics, alcohol and jewelry.
“Between July and August 2021, the NCS was reported to have seized fake and contraband goods worth N120million.”
He expressed concern that the actions of dealers in fake products have sent most Nigerians to their early graves while other victims have ended up with serious health complications, including mental and physical disabilities.
Olajide noted that “Nigeria has no specific anti-counterfeit law that is robust to cover all types of goods and species of anti-counterfeit, hence, the fight against counterfeits involves the creative application of the various laws that affect rights holders in one way or another, which include the Copyrights Act, the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, the Customs and Excise Management Act, and the Cybercrime (Prohibit, Prevention, Etc) Act, among others.”
Olajide further stressed that despite efforts by the government agencies such as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the NCS, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), SON and others to combat the menace, the Nigerian market is still flooded with different harmful products.
The legislator said: “Urgent legislative action will go a long way in reducing or eradicating the menace of fake products in Nigeria.
The House, however, mandated its Committees on Drugs and Narcotics, Industry, Customs and Excise and Ports and Harbours to, as a matter of urgency, liaise with relevant stakeholders with a view to finding lasting solutions to the menace of fake products in Nigeria.