The Senate on Wednesday passed through second reading, a Bill for an Act to introduce measures aimed against the manufacturing, production, possession, and distribution of counterfeit goods in Nigeria.
Sponsored by Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the bill also provides for a criminal investigation into counterfeiting and seeks to make the prosecution of such crime less cumbersome to provide effective control of counterfeit goods.
Presenting the lead debate on the bill, Senator Amosun explained that the proposed legislation was imperative as existing legislations have largely been limited, restrictive, and weak in enforcement mechanism.
He listed some of them to include the Trademark Act, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) Act, and Standards Organisation of Nigeria Act.
Seconding the bill, Senator Tolu Odebiyi believes it will increase the nation’s internal production and create jobs for the people if the amount of counterfeit goods that come into Nigeria is minimised.
“This bill is a bill that is very apt and appropriate today,” he told his colleagues in the Senate Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja. “I think this kind of bill that will criminalise the sale of counterfeit goods will only make our economy stronger.
“I think we also have to bear in mind that we strengthen our counterfeit laws so that Nigeria does not become a dumping ground for all counterfeit goods that are going to be brought into the country.”
The bill was read the second time and referred to the Committee on Trade and Investment which was asked to report back within four weeks
It seeks to further protect owners of trademarks and copyright against the release of similar (counterfeit) goods into the channels of commerce.
The lawmakers also attempted to consider a bill for an Act to establish the University of History, Archaeology, and Education and for other matters, 2021 by Senator Oyelola Ashiru.
But the consideration of the bill for the second reading was stood down until another legislative day.