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Commission reiterates consumer protection, education

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Director General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Babatunde Irukera

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC),  has said it is regrettable that many constitution across the world do not capture consumerism as a fundamental human right even as the nature of business practiced is mainly centred at making profit.

The Commission said it is thus important to recognise what consumer rights are, to respect those rights, ensure its enforcement and consumer satisfaction.

The Director-General of FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, disclosed this weekend at a Stakeholders’ Forum organised by the Commission to commemorate the “World Consumer Rights Day 2019” in Abuja, theme, “Trusted Smart Products.”
Irukera explained that the biggest problem in the World today is whether consumers truly recognise their rights, and whether companies do enough to respect their obligation to regard those rights.

He said: “to dedicate a specific day to the rights of consumers, I think it is appropriate. With the number of years this has happened, I think consumers are more aware of their rights. Although in spite of this, there is still a long way to travel for consumers to truly understand their rights, and for them to have the motivation and understand the enforcement mechanism that is available. This is also an opportunity for governments to reinforce and deepen the regulatory framework, and the enforcement mechanisms to ensure consumer rights are respected.”

Irukera said the Commission held the event at the renowned Bannex Plaza, Abuja, because it is the hub for exchange and sale of smart products, including telephone devices, television sets, computers and a host of others.

According to him, it was also an opportunity to speak to the key stakeholders, those who sell and buy the products.

Earlier, the Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) FCT chapter, Mr Edozie Ugwu, urged the Commission to ensure a proper channel where consumers could get redress for fake or substandard products.
Ugwu noted that there is the need for a desk officer to be in some sensitive public places like the public market and airport in the event of any issue so the consumer can easily complain and seek redress.

He said there must also be proper punishment for such offenders, as this is the only way that people will be restrained from bringing fake and substandard products into the country.

Also speaking, the Chairman, Bannex Tenant Association, Mr Chibuike Nzedimma, urged the Commission to collaborate with the channels of smart products to ensure that proper standards for products were set.
Nzedimma said the distributors, wholesalers, and retailers related mainly with the consumers of smart products and know what they want.

“Every consumer of a smart product wants his or her privacy to be protected, and that is something that the Commission should work on. When you use smart products, you exchange information such as your email, passwords, bank details and these should be kept private and should not be leaked to the public via globe or internet.”

He added: “We also expect the Commission to educate the consumers and traders on product specifications because the specifications for some products differ across the globe.”


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