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Top rated brands often face challenge of pass-offs, outright faking—Berger Paints boss

The Managing Director of Berger Paints Plc., Mr. Peter Folikwe has revealed that “Most top rated brands often face the heinous challenge of pass-offs on their brand or outright faking of their product brands,” stressing that “Berger Paints is not an exception”.

In an interactive session with capital market journalists on how Point of Sales (PoS) has enhanced the firm’s business strategy and the challenges facing manufacturers in Nigeria, he disclosed that as several occasions, “We have apprehended some of the criminals recently and handed then over to the police for persecution. On our part, we are doing all we can to direct the unsuspecting customer to our selling points– online (www.berpaintsnig,com) or from our business partners represented in major capital cities pan Nigeria. We can also be reached on twitter, facebook, instagram and the likes”.

Continuing, Folikwe revealed that “The Lagos State Government is assisting us in our efforts to apprehend those who are de-marketing us through fake products. When people fake your products, not only are they destroying your brand reputation, they are also taking food off your table”.

“Why do they fake our products? This is unacceptable. We do not have data to validate the details of the impact of fakers, but we know it impacts our top and bottom line numbers. Just like we have zero tolerance for fraud in our business, we have zero tolerance for fakers.

“Whether it is internal or external, we have that same attitude towards those who indulge in fake products. We actually go after them. We get law enforcement agents involved to ensure that they are prosecuted. As we speak now, some of them are in Kirikiri prison.

Berger Paint FOLIKWE
Managing Director of Berger Paints Plc., Mr. Peter Folikwe

Explaining more on the major problems affecting manufacturers in Nigeria, Berger Paints boss averred that “The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) recently showed that some sectors of the economy have recovered from the recession. Recall that Nigeria ran into recession in 2016 and by now, only the agricultural sector and one other sector but certainly not manufacturing has recovered from the recession”.

“There is no gainsaying that the manufacturing sector is the major employer of labour in the country. I praise investors in this sector for their selfless service to humanity. Unfortunately, government seems to be a bit insensitive to their plights. Government’s promise for forex availability to manufacturers has not been fulfilled as most of them are still dependent on importation of raw materials.

“The official CBN forex rate of N305/$ has remained an illusion. Since 2015, up until now, Berger Paints has never bought dollar at 305 Naira for its LC transactions. I do not really see it happening for now. Even when you bid through the forex windows, it will take the grace of God to be allocated in a bid. This invariably affects our operations, as local suppliers who must buy forex at the parallel market offer, yet cannot pass the excess cost to the customer,” Folikwe added.

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