The Anti-Piracy Society of Nigeria (APSON) says it is committed through its Consumer Community Participation initiative, to address the economic sabotage posed by counterfeiters in Nigeria.
The Director-General of the Society, Mr. Frank Uduonu dropped the hint while speaking with our Correspondent in Awka on the challenge of piracy and counterfeiting in Nigeria.
The challenge of piracy and counterfeiting has become a major issue in the country, resulting in the closedown of known household brands and a significant drop in standards by manufacturers, in a bid to meet market competition.
There have also been reported cases of deaths and illnesses due to the consumption of counterfeit products.
Mr. Uduonu who observed that counterfeiters thrive a lot in Nigeria because of the consumers’ ignorance, regretted that their operation constitutes a major source of capital flight.
He said until the people understand how their choice of goods and services affect society and their personal well-being, they will continue to play willfully into the hands of counterfeiters.
“Nigeria appears to be a dump yard for all manner of goods. What we have seen over the years is a situation where our people hardly scrutinize what they consume. Once the brand is enclosed in very beautiful packages or the prices are appealing, we are okay with it. This mentality has greatly encouraged piracy and counterfeiting,” Uduonu said.
The APSON Boss revealed that the agency was established to provide the platform for educating the consumers on their rights and responsibilities and creating the understanding that the people must be fully involved in changing the way things are done in the country for the better.
According to him, the group had partnered Anambra State Government to tackle the illegal printing of emblems and fighting Internally-Generated revenue thieves, an effort he noted, yielded positive dividends for the state.
He said, “We are presently utilizing the instrumentality of the Consumer Community Participation initiative, to checkmate the operations of these counterfeiters. This initiative targets to equip consumers with the right knowledge to make the right choices. We all know that once these counterfeiters start losing patronage, they will pack up by themselves and that is what we want to achieve.”
He revealed that it is their target to achieve one family one APSON member in the new year to ensure that the message gets down to the grassroots.
“Very soon, we will commence sensitization visits to public offices, churches, mosques, and schools. The idea is to sell this initiative and raise as many volunteers as possible to drive the initiative. Nobody can say that they are not affected. Together, we can achieve this lofty goal,” Uduonu opined.