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Lagos Assembly reviews customer protection agency law to check substandard goods

By Kehinde Olatunji
28 October 2021   |   3:47 am
Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday frowned at substandard products in the state, even as it moved to repeal the State's Consumer Protection Agency law to eliminate substandard and hazardous products in the market.

Lagos Assembly

Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday frowned at substandard products in the state, even as it moved to repeal the State’s Consumer Protection Agency law to eliminate substandard and hazardous products in the market.

The bill had a second reading and committed to the House Committee on Commerce and Industry, which is to report back in two weeks.
While presenting a bill to establish Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency, the Chairman House Committee On Commerce and Industry, Hon. Bisi Yusuff, said the law should not only be reviewed but also repealed and re-enacted.

“Today in Nigeria, especially in Lagos, there are hazardous products prevalent and so many people are falling victims of these substandard products. The implementation of the existing law needs to be seriously addressed”, said Yusuff.

Citing an example, the Chairman said: “What we call soft drinks today, if they are subjected to laboratory tests, 95 per cent of the contents are sugar. The implication is that we consume so much sugar , which leads to diabetes and is going on because nobody takes them to court.”

In his contributions, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2) described the bill as a people’s bill with intention to protect the interest of teeming Lagosians that have had horrible customer experience from service providers like the Telecommunications.

“We have an Agency and body that arrests the culprit but victims are left out. This amendment has created more robust fines and penalties against offenders,” he added.

In his submission, Hon. Femi Saheed (Kosofe 2) said that if the bill were passed into law, it would help the economy of the state and also create employment in the technological industry.

The Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade (Ikorodu 1) said the extant law had been used overtime, saying that there is need to repeal and re-enact it to block some loopholes exploited by operators of the law.

According to him, the bill will give value for products bought or services paid for by consumers. It is a balanced procedure for both consumers and producers of products. The bill, if passed into law, will empower the agency more in achieving its stated mandate.

Also, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, said that the bill would give room for social media engagement between the agency and the general public to enhance quick response to their complaints.

“This is what is obtainable at the federal consumer protection agency. We can replicate the same in Lagos and this will make the public have confidence in the state agency”, he said.

Hon. Lukman Olumoh (Ajeromi Ifelodun 1) maintained that the bill would enhance consumer confidence, adding, “I will suggest that offenders of the law should be well punished. The position of General Manager (GM) should not be limited to legal practitioner or State Counsel.

“The enforcement offices should be sited across the state and not be restricted to one place as it is right now”, he added.

However, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, after deliberation by the lawmakers, committed the bill to the Committee on Commerce and Industry and that it should report back in two weeks.