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INTA 2016: International collaboration key to fighting counterfeits, says Nigerian official

24-05-2016

INTA 2016: International collaboration key to fighting counterfeits, says Nigerian official

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Government agencies across the world must unite in order to stamp out counterfeiting, an official from Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has urged.

Kingsley Ejiofor, director of the Investigation and Enforcement Directorate, said “we need the international community to come together to make progress” while speaking at the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) annual meeting in Orlando today, May 23.

He outlined some of the anti-counterfeiting strategies employed by the NAFDAC, which regulates food, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices in the West African nation.

After mentioning the need for international collaboration (NAFDAC works with organisations including Interpol and the World Health Organization), Ejiofor spoke about national collaboration and capacity-building.

He went on to discuss “cutting-edge technology” and singled out Truscan, a handheld instrument designed for quickly authenticating suspected counterfeit or pharmaceuticals. “We were the first regulatory body to use it,” he noted.  

Other strategies include training as well as investigation and enforcement, with Ejiofor revealing one of the agency’s successes was catching a man in Nigeria responsible for 10 billion Naira ($50.1 million) worth of counterfeits.

Lara Kayode, of Nigerian law firm O Kayode & Company, who was moderating the session, said it is necessary for brand owners to be proactive and that they need to “dig deep and use the resources we have to get enforcement done”.

She added that while the session had heard mainly from West Africa, elsewhere South Africa has legislation dealing with counterfeits and in East Africa there are attempts to harmonise “the way we get counterfeiters”.

The INTA conference runs until Wednesday, May 25.

INTA 2016, counterfeit, trademark, NAFDAC,

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