From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
The Nigeria Customs Service has arrested a middle-age Nigerian believed to have connived with dubious foreign business men in China to fake Wavetide mosquito coil produced by Gongoni, a Kano-based company.
Briefing journalists at the Club Road headquarters of the Kano/ Jigawa Command of the Nigeria Customs, the Comptroller, Nasiru Ahmed told journalists that a combined operation of officers from his Command and Comptroller General of Customs Taskforce led to the discovery of a warehouse located near Dawanu market where 8, 407 bags of faked Wavetide mosquito coil, valued at N54, 241, 964.00 were impounded.
He said one person was arrested in connection with the crime and promised to ensure that he was prosecuted.
The Customs boss lamented the ugly situation where unscrupulous Nigerians connive with fraudulent foreign nationals to sabotage Nigeria’s economy.
He described Gongoni as an indigenous company which has contributed immensely to the growth of the nation’s economy through creation of employment and production of quality products.
Comptroller Ahmed added that his men and officers also intercepted and evacuated 8, 711 cartons of foreign tomato paste, valued at N33, 711, 570.00.
He said about 8, 136 pieces of unfinished Donkey leather valued at N65, 972, 600.00, billed to be illegally exported to China were also evacuated.
Comptroller Ahmed who decried the gradual extinction of Donkeys in the country, following the activities of unscrupulous business men who slaughter Donkeys for illicit business purooses, also advocated for stiffer punishment to smugglers, considering the enormity of harm they are causing to the nation’s economy.
He also decried the new device of smugglers who he said are using luxury cars to smuggle foreign rice into the country, all in a bid to beat security checks, adding that, “we are really hitting in smugglers. The border closure policy is telling on them. We are hitting them hard and we will not relent in our effort to ensure that smugglers relocate out from Nigerian border points.”
Speaking to journalists, the Executive Director of Gongoni, Alhaji Abdullahi Halilu, commended Customs for their efforts, while lamenting that the activities of fraculent business men faking their products are really affecting the company.
According to him, the Company was forced to lay-off about 600 workers few years back due to the effects of faking their products.
He said the company’s management steadily receive complain of the faked Wavetide mosquito and other Gongoni products being sold in the market.
“This people are killing us. They use our trade mark, our logo, our bag and everything to do this products which in some cases are very dangerous to human health. They will take it far away to China, produce it there and return it back to Nigeria and other African countries for sale. And they will indicate that it is made in Kano!”
Alhaji Abdullahi Halilu further called on the Federal Government to protect indigenous companies from the activities of cross-border dubious business men who engage in product faking and counterfeiting.