The dominance of substandard products in Nigerian markets has been traced to dishonest marketers, who often rip them off through the global market technology.
The permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Dr Abubakar Koro Muhammad, who said this yesterday, at the National Young Consumer Contest Award Presentation Ceremony, organised by the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), in Abuja, also stated that such technology had similarly made it possible for counterfeiters to acquire highly sophisticated machines that could aid the production of fake and substandard products.
He added that such dishonest marketers rip off unsuspecting consumers, using deceptive media, on-line advertisement, fraudulent cross border marketing and high technological scam targeted primarily at uneducated people and children of the society.
Muhammad stressed, “The idea of global market place has made it possible for dishonest marketers to use the same technology that has eased trade to rip off consumers through acts, such as deceptive media and on-line advertisement targeted primarily at vulnerable groups like uneducated members of our society and children, fraudulent cross-border marketing and high technology scams.
“It has also made it possible for counterfeiters to acquire highly sophisticated machines that aid the production of fake and sub-standard products which look exactly like their original variants.
“In the service sector, just like the manufacturing world, the sheer speed of light by which businesses are transacted has made it difficult for consumers to pay attention to details, thereby rendering them vulnerable to all sorts of abuses.”
Mohammad, however, pointed out that the government in Nigeria had continued to evolve ways and means of fighting this vice, hence the establishment of the CPC to act as an unbiased third party in balancing the power relation between businesses and consumers, while the ministry had been involved in the pursuit of the cardinal objectives of beefing up domestic production and reversing the nation’s over dependence on oil for its foreign exchange earnings.
Earlier, the director-general, CPC, Mr. Ify Umenyi, had called on members of the private sector and other well-meaning national and international organisations to invest in laudable programmes, such as the young consumers’ contest.
She stated that for Nigeria to achieve its Vision 20: 2020 and the country counted among the developed nations of the world, by the year in question, the children must be carried along.