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Research, innovation, technology key to improving quality standards

In a developing economy like Nigeria’s, very few people have money to burn while millions of others count every kobo they spend, sometimes, without getting real value, thus, deceiving them into spending the little they have has been described as wrong.

Experts have also said continuous investment in research and innovative technology is crucial in improving the quality of products made in Nigeria to international standards.

They said many companies who engage in local manufacturing have lost confidence in the consumers due to none adherence to quality standards in the market.

Head of Marketing, Euromega Nigeria Limited, Abimbola Alabi, said new products that meet up to standard are the results of continuous improvement following in-depth consumer research that spans for years. She explained that quality products should be innovatively formulated and produced.

Alabi, who stated this at the launch of Soklin detergents in Lagos, said, as manufacturers of products in Nigeria, there should be import of investment in technology, as well as passion for research and development, while companies yearn for product excellence and the need to extend its leadership of the market.

The Chief Financial officer, Toyin Elefuntuyi said while other companies are cutting down on quality, other manufacturers should continue to invest more in consumer research and innovative technology to meet households need and improve quality standards of Nigerian consumers.

The battle against fake products is not a new phenomenon, over the decades, individuals, companies, brands, private and government agencies have continued to wage war against these fakers, but their victory often times is short lived as the fake producers always diverse new techniques to ‘keep the business moving’.

Recall the time of former Director, NAFDAC, Dr. Dora Akunyili, who fought to safeguard the lives of Nigerians?

The global supply chains that keep so many companies humming look increasingly stretched. Unscrupulous vendors are duping major retailers, and these retailers seem unable to stop it.

The fake products cut across all brands, as not even the media is spared with the advent of social media. Gone are the days when only the big brands complained of fake products. The ‘market’ has grown to the least of products.

Just recently, Solpia Nigeria, makers of X-Pression hair extensions, raised the alarm about increasing counterfeiting of their products, saying the adverse effect of the products to the users could not be overemphasized, as they are made of low quality PVC fibre and other substandard materials that are harmful to the scalp due to chemical that causes itching and can lead to hair loss.

Ihedioha Okechukwu told The Guardian that the company was worried, as “these fake products are highly inflammable.” He advised users to watch out for pointers, such as ink stamps on the colour number, a silver hologram sticker bearing the message ‘flame retardant fibre’.

Okechukwu said just like Akunyili engaged other countries manufacturing fake drugs, Solpia had also gone to engage the Chinese government on the dangers these products pose, and find possible solutions to it.

Also, Marketing Manager, Solpia Nigeria, Mrs Grace Ejikeme said the fake products became more pronounced about two years ago, due to scarcity and the inability to clear materials from Apapa ports due to the congestion.

She said, “We are working in collaboration with relevant agencies in Nigeria and the originating country (China), to get the source of the fake products and bring perpetrators to book.”

As regulating authorities work constantly to keep consumers safe, Nigerians must join the fight against fake products because if they continue to make transactions with counterfeit producers, the black markets will never diminish. All consumers should share the responsibility of verifying the authenticity and origins of their purchases. The only way to put an end to the fast-growing market of counterfeit products is to stop purchasing these products. Without revenues or support, counterfeit sales will decrease and force the fraudulent criminals out of business.

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