That counterfeiting affects quality and has negative impacts on intellectual property, job creation and health is not new. What is new in Nigeria, is that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and International Trademark Association (INTA) have come together with a strong bond and partnership to stop the scourge of counterfeited goods. INTA is a global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce.
Delegates from INTA’s Representative for Africa and the Middle East together with other Lagos-based lawyers paid NCS a courtesy visit at the agency’s Headquarters in Abuja. The Delegates were received by the Customs’ Acting Deputy Comptroller-General (Strategic Research and Policy), Dr. Patience K. Iferi.
Dr. Iferi expressed her appreciation for the visit and reaffirmed the steadfast commitment of the Nigeria custom to tackling counterfeiting in Nigeria. She further emphasized the duty of the NCS to ensure the protection and safety of well-meaning Nigerians. She called for assistance from the association specifically in areas including products identification, protection of indigenous products and sensitization campaigns.
The delegates from INTA expressed willingness to further partner with NCS and facilitate the dialogue with brand owners via its Custom Connection Program and the UNREAL Campaign. The Custom Connection Program is conducted by Intellectual property rights (IPRs) holders through training webinars and has reportedly contributed to the advancement of customs agents’ capacity in identifying counterfeit goods.