MicCom Cables, a leading firm in the manufacturing of cables and wires in Nigeria, has gone into partnership with the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), and the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) to end the manufacturing and circulation of counterfeit and substandard products in Nigerian markets.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the headquarters of SON recently, the Chief Operating Officer of MicCom Cables, Olubukola Adubi lamented that it was worrisome the amount of substandard and counterfeit products in circulation in Nigeria, but however announced that collaboration with SON and other relevant agencies like LASCOPA would stamp out this unwholesome practice from the Nigerian markets.
Adubi, who commended the two agencies for their roles in stemming the tide of counterfeiting in the country, particularly in Lagos, said she was optimistic that the collaboration would further intensify the war.
Earlier in a meeting between the management of LASCOPA and SON, the General Manager of LASCOPA, Afolabi Solebo expressed readiness of the two agencies to collaborate in the area of knowledge sharing and capacity building, with a view to ensuring that consumers all over the country are protected.
“Solebo in the course of our duties, we can refer cases that we believe have to do with standards to the SON as other agencies do for us so that issues like that can be resolved amicably because you know much more about the standards.
“Our duty is to ensure that those products, even when they are brought to the public for sale and are defective, know where to go if they have passed the requirements of SON. Another issue we will be talking about is the issue of trade.
“For us at LASCOPA and for any sellers’ organisation, we really want to identify with SON as regards the quality check so that when we are well trained, we know those that are well of standard and sub-standard. Also, we will be talking about the certification of products in the Lagos market and how much can be gotten rid of through the SON. SON is about standardisation and LASCOPA has participated in some technical committees and we will like more of it to occur,” he added.
The Director General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, while speaking, assured that SON would provide technical services that would improve the efficiency of LASCOPA in discharging its duties optimally .
According to him, “If you can get things done in Lagos, then you have taken care of 50% of those issues around the country because all the products that go around the country come from and through Lagos. We are of the great opinion that we need a robust operation with both the state governments and the federal.
“Here, we have about 35 laboratories that are internationally accredited. Some of the things LASCOPA is trying to do can easily be done here at a subsidised fee through understanding and agreement.”
The two agencies therefore, said they would work together on a Memorandum of Understanding to broaden their efforts and make the partnership official.
The MicCom Cables Boss who lamented the state of sub-standardisation and adulteration of products in the Nigerian markets, said during some of the company’s investigations the market, her firm had discovered that some suppliers deliberately reduce the quality or quantity of products making them sub-standard.
“Take copper for example. It is not a metal but an alloy and then the gauges that have to come with them are not up to par. You have issues with the length like a 100 yards sold as 100 metres. If you don’t know the difference and it has already been packaged, then you have been fleeced unknowingly,” she explained.
She also disclosed that some nefarious individuals produce adulterated products where they slap the labels of local manufacturers illegitimately.
“Then there is the issue of the adulterated goods which are ones that have been misrepresented to the public as being produced by a local manufacturer, but are not. Sometimes, some use the exact name, while others use a similar name that sounds nearly or exactly like the original,” she added.
Adubi however commended the efforts of both state and federal regulators for their readiness to collaborate with MicCom Cables, but warned market operators who sell sub-standard products and adulterated ones that the partnership between LASCOPA and SON would hit them hard.
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