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War against counterfeits not only for govt – APSON



NIGERIAN market has in recent time gained notoriety for being flooded with substandard products. A Non Governmental Organisation, Anti Piracy Society Of Nigeria (APSON), has set out to push the fight against counterfeiting and pirating of goods in the country further in collaboration with relevant government agencies.
Before joining in the fight to rid Nigeria market off substandard or pirated products, concerns have continued to mount over the devastating effect this development has wrought on the entire economy specifically and populace generally.
Recently, Nigeria was confronted with the challenge of buildings collapse that caused high number of death and unprecedented injuries to victims. The monumental property loss the incident came with was rendered inconsequential given the death toll involved. Media reports elaborately carried the Lagos Island building collapse and the Ibadan follow-up collapse two days later, all in the month of March this year.
Many school children were reported dead in the Lagos Island incidence. It is equally a public knowledge that fire incident cases, both within residential areas and other public places had occurred in the last 12-months. In Onitsha, Anambra State, there have been reports of both fire and building collapse incidents even before the second quarter of the year took off. Surprisingly, most of these incidents were attributed to substandard nature of materials used both in building sites and other construction projects.
Citizens were therefore not surprised when President Muhammadu Buhari had to summon the Nigerian Society of Engineers’ boss, for explanation to the worrisome development at a time, with a charge for more professionalism in the sector.
The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), had come under vilification from the public domain for alleged ineptitude in their responsibilities. This has inspired a renewed fight from the agency, to stop forthwith, proliferations of substandard goods in the country. The Customs agency is not relenting in their efforts to ensure all goods coming into the country are well scrutinised to meet acceptable standards.
Against this backdrop, APSON’s decision to join in the race to save Nigeria from becoming dumping ground for all manner of goods is not only timely but most appreciated.
In their mission statement released to National Light news media,, they made clear, their decision to get actively involved in rebuilding confidence into the Nigerian market with a holistic effort to weed out products that fall short of conformity with acceptable standard.
Part of their written statement that shows their mission reads, “to make an effective, substantial and enduring contribution to Nigeria’s effort in combating counterfeiting and piracy through value reorientation training, information sharing and awareness campaigns on consumer goods and services”
On their vision for a more robust economy that wins investors’ confidence, the group stated that they are poised, “to be the leading Non Governmental Organisation in the fight against piracy and counterfeit in Nigeria.
To be a lead partner to government, organisations and private companies  in creating awareness campaigns towards awakening the consciousness of Nigerians in their roles in fighting piracy and counterfeit in Nigeria”
They further emphasised values, originality, integrity, diligence and vigilance as pivotal in their core mandate.
To this effect, they vowed to, “enlighten and inform the public on matters relating to counterfeiting and piracy.
Devise and promote training programs to combat counterfeiting and piracy.
Co-ordinate with states, national, regional or international organisations involved in combating counterfeiting and piracy and to perform any other duty that may directly or indirectly contribute to the attainment of the foregoing objectives.
To achieve this, it is expected that good planning in terms of manpower and resources must be harnessed. They summed  capabilities and expectations of members to include those who can look into the future and turn things around with limited time and resources, bearing originality and distinctiveness in mind.
Though APSON’s popularity may not have hit the apogee, especially in this part of the country for now, the sterling content in their vision and mission appeals for support and partnership.

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