The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has raised concern over the growing number of fake and substandard products in the country.
The President of LCCI, Mr. Babatunde Ruwase, made the observation at a press briefing on the state of the economy, on Wednesday in Lagos.
Ruwase said that the counterfeiting of products posed a grave danger for the health and safety of the citizens.
According to him, the issue constitutes a major challenge to leading brands in the consumer and durable products sector, as it erodes their market share, profit margin, and impacts adversely on their reputation.
Ruwase called for better investment in the capacity of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), toward tackling the problem of fake and substandard products.
He urged the Federal Government to address concerns about overlapping responsibilities of SON, NAFDAC and the Weight and Measures Unit of Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
On insecurity, Ruwase said the security problem in the country was a major issue that needed to be fixed urgently, urging the government to spare no effort to resolve the challenge.
“Our security agencies need to live up to their responsibilities.
“The insecurity — killings, kidnappings, unwarranted attacks, armed robbery — is seriously worrisome development and has become a major source of concern.
“The herders crises and attacks have led to loss of lives with serious consequences for the agricultural sector. It has escalated the risk of farming in many locations in the country,” he said.
Ruwase also spoke on the delay in passing the budget, noting that it would further entrench the vicious cycle of poor budget implementation, especially the capital component of the budget.
“We are getting close to half of the year, yet we do not have a budget. This is certainly not the best way to run the affairs of a country.
“The delay has implications for planning in both the public and private sectors of the economy. Strategic planning for many organisations takes a cue from the budget structure and policies that come with it.
“With the budget not in place, uncertainty and associated business risks in the economy are heightened.
“This is surely not good for investors’ confidence, either from a foreign investors perspective or from domestic investors standpoint,” he said.
Ruwase said it was imperative for all arms of government to demonstrate an unequivocal commitment to the spirit and letters of the Nigerian constitution and other complementary legislation.
The LCCI boss also raised concern over the growing incidence of cybercrime, calling for more concerted effort to curb the menace.
“Most affected are the financial services sector, E-commerce, mobile based transactions and telecommunications. These sectors have suffered huge losses as a result of cyber fraud.
“This is a major challenge of the rapidly evolving digital revolution,” he said.
Ruwase stressed the need to regularly upscale capacity of security agencies and other relevant institutions to tackle the problem.