The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has gone tough over cloning of successful brands, as it shut several shops in the Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPAMDA) market along the Lagos/Badagry expressway.
The director-general, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Osita Aboloma, said currently of much concern is the fraudulent cloning and faking of WSK Rotor Heads by Mr. Ikechukwu Egwuatu, the manager of Munduo Auto Limited despite a seal order by a court of competent jurisdiction.
He frowned at the practice of cloning successful brands by unscrupulous business men to make quick gains, depriving the trade mark owners of their benefit. He said that SON Act 2015 empowers the agency to arrest and prosecute offenders and warned that they would make it impossible for fakers to thrive.
“This man has being importing substandard Rotor Heads with another person’s trade mark. He was arrested three years ago and rather than refraining from the illegal Act he decided to go to court and predictably lost at the court. One would think that good reasoning would have made him to refrain and engage in a legal business besides working on getting his own trademark but unfortunately he has refused all entreaties and we were left with no other option but to bring to bear the full weight of the law on him to serve as deterrent, he added.
The SON boss who was represented by the agency’s Director of Market Survey, Mr.Isa Suleiman said SON is working on every sector to bring sanity and also raise the confidence of both manufacturers and consumers. He said standards are improved and reviewed regularly to meet up with current technology.
The agency also arrested notorious counterfeiters and importers of fake and substandard goods. The market had come under SON’s hammer following several surveillance exercises undertaken as a result of constant complaints by the public who have endured years of losing their monies to the merchants of fake auto parts, machineries, batteries etc.
On the arrest of several battery and tyre importers and the sealing of their warehouses in the market, he explained that many of them have being found to be engaged in illegal relabeling of popular battery brands with low quality varieties. He added that they go to the extent of inputting wrong capacities to the batteries, deceiving the public.
Furthermore, he said the agency has done a lot to rid the country of fake and substandard tyres by carrying out surprise raids on unscrupulous importers insisting that it is imperative for motorists to observe safety standards in the purchase of tyres.
On the call by some section of the traders for more enlightenment and sensitization on standardization decrying the huge amount they lose when apprehended by the agency. The SON chief said they have no reason to import fake and substandard products into the country especially when the agency have guidelines to guide importers and indigenous manufactures on standardisation.
In his words: “We have SON Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) for importers to ensure that whatever they import is in conformity with the nation’s standards from the country of origin while the MANCAP scheme is a detailed guideline for local manufacturers to ensure quality and standard in the production process.
“Therefore no importer or local manufacturers have any reason to import or manufacture products that are not in conformity with the nation’s industrial standards. We insist that all importers, manufacturers and indeed dealers must be registered for traceability.”
Furthermore, he advised Nigerians to desist from buying used tyres noting that it is a sure way to sudden death. He encouraged the people to buy new tyres and ensure that they check the day of manufacture, storage condition and packaging. He also advised that the newer the date of manufacture better for the buyer.