Another interesting article by Etcetera. He writes about SON’s failure to stop the importation and production of fake and substandard products in the country. Read below:
I am sure every Nigerian must have at a point rained curses on the Standard Organisation of Nigeria for its failure to fulfil its statutory duties to forestall the importation and local manufacture of fake and substandard products. And I can also bet that no Nigerian businessman or woman would accept blames for the substandard products in their shops. So who’s to blame for the ridicule the nation is subjected to as a result of fake products?
It is no secret that this country has the most useless standard organisation from earth to jupiter. While every Nigerian is looking forward to witnessing a sudden growth in the quality of products, and knowing that the enormity of the decay has already clawed deeply into the system, would it be fair to hold SON responsible? The influx of fake and substandard products will continue to undermine the economy, kudos to the insatiable appetite Nigerians have for cheap products.
It is so easy to blame it on the Chinese producers, forgetting that it is our taste that has kept them in business. But we created the avenue for them to exploit us. The importers among us see no crime in sending a vast majority of their fellow countrymen to their graves as long as they make a huge profit in the process.
That Nigeria has become the dumping ground for fake products is not going to change anytime soon as long as the purchasing public remains ignorant to the simple fact that we are the chief patrons of substandard products. We keep buying them over and over again even when we know they are fake.
Analysts correlate this trend with the growing rate of poverty in the land as a factor that influences our buying preferences. I find that theory hard to swallow, knowing that majority of Nigerians actually ask to be shown the fake products sometimes to help ascertain the authenticity of the said original product and compare the price differences.
We happily buy substandard products claiming the difference in quality is not too visible. The average Nigerian family is more likely to purchase drugs from a ‘chemist’ than go to the hospital for accurate diagnosis and treatment knowing that we have a great risk of buying either substandard or outright fake products.
Why does the Federal Government waste precious time having summits and bilateral talks with the Asian countries? Are we expecting them to shut down their factories when we know for a fact that most of these substandard products are manufactured at the request of greedy Nigerian businessmen? The Asian governments are not responsible for our porous borders or our highly corrupt custom officers. So why would they give a damn about us? All they can do is feigning sympathy during the useless bilateral meetings as long as the small chops and samosas are being served. So it is indeed laughable expecting China to prohibit trade activities that is beneficial to its economy, whether it is inimical to their development of ours or not.
Late Dora Akunyili showed an example of how the cartel of substandard products can be brought down. It is quite instructive to note that several millions of lives would have been lost to fake drugs which found their way into the country through the porous borders and in connivance with corrupt customs officials. The surge was reduced when she took the battle to the doorsteps of fake drug manufacturers and importers at the risk of her own life. But despite all her efforts, Nigerians are still patronising this illicit business at their own detriment.
Until all of us go through a total attitudinal transformation and start seeing things differently from the way we are perceived now, we will continue to dwell in limbo.