Monday, April 1, 2013

SON’s e-product registration fraudulent –Traders



From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

As the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) sets May 21st deadline for E-Registration of all goods in Nigeria's market, traders and market leaders have described the agency's electronic registration initiative as fraudulent and another avenue for extortion by the agency.son-logo2

The traders, who spoke with Peoples Daily in Lagos said since all products are registered with SON to ascertain its quality, "the newly introduced e-product registration programme initiated by the regulatory agency is baseless," Matthew Uso, a market leader in Oke Arin Market said.

Uso also wondered why the agency would begin to confiscate goods in the market for not registering electronically with SON, after bearing SON's logo certifying such product for public consumption.

"I learnt they will begin to raid markets for products that are not electronically registered, it is fraudulent! They should go to the manufacturing companies, ports and borders to ensure the implementation of their programme; they should leave the poor traders goods alone", he lamented.

In Alaba electronics market, traders said the e-product registration programme does not affect sellers of imported used electronic 'tokunbo', but that major manufacturers of electronics will register with SON.

Alaba traders also described the agency's on-line registration initiative as another means of extortion by the agency officials; "Now that the deadline has been given, various officials would start to inspect markets and confiscating goods, which will cost us fortunes to get back; SON should update their data base with the list of products manually registered with them", some of them said.

Sunny Okorie however wondered the fate of traders who had stockpiled goods as the deadlines approaches.

Mrs. Iyeola Rose, on her part, called for more enlightenment and sensitisation of traders on the program, insisting that the program will benefits big-scale traders while medium enterprise might suffer the brunt.  "We know that in Nigeria things don't work out as planned, because this a good idea but the agency should give it a face-lift that will make it beneficial for both big and small-scale investments in the country; if products are not registered it is the manufacturers that should be held responsible, not raiding the traders of their goods", she stated.

At a meeting in Lagos with importers and manufacturers, the Director-General of SON, Mr. Joseph Odusolu stated that the move is an international standard requirement that identifies genuine manufacturers, enhance traceability and help protect consumers from substandard products.

Published On: Thu, Feb 28th, 2013

India’s pharmaceutical exports to Nigeria hit $307m in 2012


India's pharmaceutical exportsFrom Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

Pharmaceutical products exported from India to Nigeria stood at $307 million as at March 31, 2012.
Making this known to newsmen during the Indian Pharma exhibition cum Buyer-Seller meeting in Lagos, Mahsesh Sachdev, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria said that Indian medicines remain largest source of medicines into Nigeria, supplying over a third of the market.
While the surge is not surprising given the trust and faith that Nigerian consumers repose in the quality and efficacy of Indian medicines, Sachdev revealed that Indian exports of pharmaceutical products have gone up by 35 percent and 37 percent annually in the last two years.
According to Sachdev, "There are more than 30 Indian pharmaceutical companies located in Lagos alone and engaged in manufacturing and/or importing medicines, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and fine chemicals to Nigeria worth $307 million in the year ending March 31 2012. With the industry growing at 13 percent annually, the turnover is expected to grow five-fold by 2020.
Lending his view, the Director-General, NAFDAC, Mr.Paul Orhii said that the agency is working at ensuring that Nigerians have access to quality and affordable medical products.
According to the DG, "NAFDAC has put in place measures to fast track registration process so as to ensure that quality and tested products are available in the Nigerian markets. With e-registration process, products could be registered with the agency anywhere in the world while the process is completed with 90 days having fulfilled all the requirements.
"The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in Pharmaceutical Sector in March 2011.They have intensified collaboration to prevent anti-counterfeiting of Indian pharmaceuticals."
A cursory look at Indian pharmaceuticals reveal that finished dosage forms contribution is on the increase which indicates increased recognition of India's pharmaceuticals world over.

Ahmad Salkida, 'Boko Haram Journalist' Flee to Dubia threat From Security Agents, Boko Haram heighten


A Nigerian journalist, Ahmad Salkida, who has reported extensively on Boko Haram, has fled Nigeria to the United Arab Emirates after he reportedly came under increasing pressure from Nigerian security agents and Boko Haram insurgents.

In an email to two Premium Times, Ahmad Salkida said he had to flee when his life and that of his family became endangered in the past weeks.

"Now I can report that I am in Dubai," Mr. Salkida said in the letter. "I am trying to get employment visa. This is crucial so that I can sustain my stay here and contribute ultimately to today's journalism."

The journalist, who had worked for Daily Trust, Blueprint and Premium Times, had become troubled of late after security agencies and Nigerian authorities began to mistake his in-depth reporting on the extremist group as evidence of his closeness to the sect.

"After years of seeking ways to work professionally and remain with my family in Nigeria, I am afraid to report that I came recently to the conclusion that I have to flee," he further lamented in the email.

"After my most recent expose on the scandal going in respect of purported ceasefire negotiated between government and Boko Haram, the danger to my life has escalated to new heights. I have had to go underground for several weeks leading to my final decision to flee Nigeria."

He added, "Security agents and many victims of Boko Haram seem frequently upset by the things I write in the media which made me to scale down my professional visibility. More worrying, I have turned down Boko Haram's several requests for me to publish exclusive interviews and materials for them."

Mr. Salkida had written in the article, published in PREMIUM TIMES on February 1 that the claim by government that the Boko Haram sect was negotiating a truce was false and fraudulent.

Mr. Salkida has consistently maintained that he had only maintained professional contact with a few elements he had reported upon long before the sect became violent.