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SON reads riot act to promoters of cloned brands

Farouk Salim

Chidi Ogbuokiri

With cloned brands taking a huge chunk of market share and equity from original manufacturers, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) at the weekend read the Riot Act to promoters of cloned brands in a bid to check fake and substandard goods in the country.

The Director General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, who disclosed this, warned that the agency would discourage the registration of any product that has a similar business name with an existing brand or those hidden under the names of successful brands to short-change unsuspecting consumers.

Salim stated this during a courtesy visit of the Alaba International Market Associations to the SON office in Lagos.

He said: “The issue of cloning brands cannot be handled alone by SON, but going forward, we are going to audit the products we register and certify them.

“Anytime a new product comes and looks similar to another registered product that is already popular in the market, we will try to discourage the registration of that product with such a name, so that other products would be identified properly. This will increase traceability of products not yet in circulation,” he said.

 Meanwhile, Mr. Salim has announced plans to increase its level of engagement with stakeholders in the country, including Alaba International Market, noting that the move by the agency would help protect the interest of the business community while also safeguarding lives and property.

He said the standards body would work with stakeholders to sensitize the business community on the need to ensure safety and standards, warning that unscrupulous individuals would be prosecuted.

The SON boss said: “We are here to work with them and to make their job easy while also to protect their interest because they are Nigerians employing people and they are doing what needs to be done. We are looking forward to cooperating with them to ensure that every other individual in their association not doing the right thing is encouraged to doing the right thing in the future.”

“We are inviting stakeholders and the plan is to work together with them to sensitize and train them on safety of lives and property.” Salim stated.

He also warned that, those breaking the law will face appropriate sanctions. “As for those still breaking the laws, we will enforce our laws either by court or through appropriate regulations.”

According to him, SON would reach out to the community through sensitization programmes to highlight the negative impacts of substandard goods on the business community.

Also speaking, the Executive Chairman, Electrical Dealers Association of Nigeria (EDAN), Fabian Ezeorjika, said there is an already existing partnership with SON to achieve a substandard free market.

He reaffirmed the association’s commitment to working with SON to fish out the bad eggs in the market, saying the association had formed a Joint Task Force comprised of SON officials and currently running a “buyer beware campaign” in the market.

“SON has destroyed a lot of products, while some of our members are in court and we are going to increase the level of collaboration with SON because we want to bring an end to substandard goods.

Ezeorjika called on SON to encourage local production, saying that this is the surest way to create wealth and job opportunities for the nation’s teeming youths.

“We need to create a conducive environment for local production. Importation only creates job opportunities for people we import from. We must create a platform to boost local production,” he said

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