Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, Nigeria’s apex quality bureau has expressed deep concerns over the deliberate cloning of genuine Nigerian products by some fraudulent importers, especially electrical equipment, saying that henceforth all imported electrical cables must undergo laboratory tests before they are cleared from the seaports across the country.

Director of the organisation in charge of Enforcement and Monitoring, Engr. Bede Obayi, who gave the hint in Lagos while speaking at a one-day stakeholders’ forum on the Ease of Doing Business for port service providers and users in the South West, Thursday, also warned that importers caught cloning genuine products made in Nigeria would risk various jail terms.

He also disclosed that the desire of the organisation to curb the importation of adulterated and poor quality products into the country informed the formulation of the SON Conformity Assessment Programme SONCAP.

The forum, organised in conjunction with National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders NAGAFF, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents ANLCA and attended by importers, representatives of the Nigeria Customs Service, among several other stakeholders is in line with the organisation’s programme of sensitising stakeholders on the need to comply with trade regulations.

It is also in tandem with the Federal Government’s policy of improving the ease of Doing Business in the country with a view to attracting both local and foreign investments to grow Nigeria’s economy.

According to the director, it has come to the notice of the organisation that some fraudulent importers now clone Nigeria-made products, especially Nigerian cables and present them as made in Nigeria in order to deceive unsuspecting users of such product, given that cables made in Nigeria rank among the best in the world.

It was gathered that because of the high quality of these Nigerian cables, there is always high demand for them, a development that makes importers to clone them and even other popular brands and bring them into the country so as to sell same as made in Nigeria products to unsuspecting consumers.

He therefore warned that the organisation will not allow such into the Nigerian markets, as they must be made to undergo compulsory laboratory test in laboratories owned and managed by SON before they are cleared from the seaports.

“Through quality standardisation and regulation, we have over the years made sure that cables made in Nigeria are among the world’s best so people are now cloning imported products as if they are made in Nigeria. It is also on record that almost all the made in Nigeria products are certified by the organisation, in conjunction with other certification and standardisation agencies”.

“What you find these days is that people clone popular Nigerian brands and bring them into the country as if they are made in Nigeria and already certified by the SON.

“This is unacceptable because imported products cannot be branded as made in Nigeria, we are proud of these products, we want to sell them, and we want to export them to other countries.

“If you bring in these products from outside and label them as if they are made in Nigeria, it means that such products have not been tested, they have also not been validated in terms of their characteristics. This is why SON insists that it cannot allow non-compliant and non certified products into the country.

“Any one that wants to import must conform to the standards and and regulations of the organisation”, he further warned.