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Why PR experts should spearhead consumers’ satisfaction drive

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L-R Prof Ralph Akinfeleye FNIPR, Chairman, Centre of Excellence, University of Lagos; Barrister Joseph Okonmah, Chairman, NIPR Lagos Chapter; Dr. Rotimi Oladele, FNIPR, President/ Chaiirman Governing Council NIPR and Dr Rotimi Olatunji, Acting Dean, School of Comm. Lagos State University at the 2nd NIPR Lagos Stakeholders’ Conference held at the University of Lagos, with the Theme: The Nigerian Consumer- Rights, Duties & Obligations

L-R Prof Ralph Akinfeleye FNIPR, Chairman, Centre of Excellence, University of Lagos; Barrister Joseph Okonmah, Chairman, NIPR Lagos Chapter; Dr. Rotimi Oladele, FNIPR, President/ Chaiirman Governing Council NIPR and Dr Rotimi Olatunji, Acting Dean, School of Comm. Lagos State University at the 2nd NIPR Lagos Stakeholders’ Conference held at the University of Lagos, with the Theme: The Nigerian Consumer- Rights, Duties & Obligations

Professor Akinfeleye has said that public relations practitioners must ensure that the rights of consumers are protected by their organizations through providing qualitative services because while it is easy to recover lost money, it is not easy to recover lost reputation.

Speaking in Lagos recently, during the second annual Nigerian Institute of Public Relations Stakeholders’ Conference, Akinfeleye who spoke on, The role of PR in protection of rights of consumers, lampooned many Nigerian organization for fragrantly abusing consumers rights.

The event held in collaboration with the Mass Communication Department, University of Lagos, was organized by Addefort Limited.

Akinfeleye also noted that there is an unequal exchange between the organization and the clients. He buttressed his points with many unethical and customer dissatisfaction activities or organization and government agencies.

Observing that the topic is very relevant as it is coming some weeks after the election, he pleaded that PR should be made a management function if organizations hope to get the best out of it and ensure better consumer satisfaction.

Also commenting, Prof Lai Oso, who was represented by the Acting Dean, School of Communication, Lagos State University, Dr. Rotimi Olatunji, in his presentation gave an analysis of the Nigerian consumers looking how educational level, religion and cultural differences shape their decision making process and demand for their rights.

He observed that most PR practitioners usually make efforts in building reputation rather that evolving a character for the organization. Olatunji further stated that PR must speak in the public interest arguing that to ensure consumer’ right are enforced, the consumer has a duty of demanding for it.

The Head of Department of Mass Communication, Dr. Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, in her contribution, noted that the level of development depict the way the consumers are valued.

She further said that consumer rights education in the country is weak. She maintained that it would be difficult to get on well as a country if consumer rights and education is weak. She therefore called on the regulators and bodies charged with protecting consumer rights to wake up.

Earlier, in his remarks, the Chairman, NIPR Lagos Chapter, Barrister Joseph Okonmah, commended the supports of corporate organizations that made the event a huge success. “I must commend the support of all regulators that participated and our corporate sponsors; Airtel, Coca-Cola, First Bank and MTN for identifying with the Nigerian Consumer”

Okonmah explained that the conference with the theme: “The Nigerian Consumer- Rights, Duties & Obligations” was designed for regulatory authorities and corporate organizations to deliberate on issues affecting consumers in the country.

The special guest of honour, Prof. Rahamon Bello, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Management Services, Prof Duro Oni, who disclosed that the university was happy to host the forum.

Among key regulators and organisations that made presentations at the Conference include; The Consumer Protection Council, CPC; Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC; Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC; Standard Organisation of Nigeria, SON; National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA; MTN Nigeria and Airtel.

Consumer Protection Council, (CPC) Head, Lagos Office, Mr. Tam Tamunokonbia, spoke on the efforts being made by the Commission in protecting the rights of consumers in the country, calling on consumers to always demand for their rights by bringing complaints to the notice of the Commission.

Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, represented by Mr. Tony Ojobo, Director Public Affairs, spoke on “Challenges of Providing Quality Telecom Services in Nigeria”.

Ojobo insisted that the quality of telecoms service in Nigeria is not falling in any way.  According to him, “Even if we wish to compare service quality with the situation in the 1970s to 1990s, up to 2000, or at the inception and during the telecom revolution years which began in 2001, or just the status in three to five years ago, we are uncomfortable to admit that the quality, or standard of services are falling.

But we may argue that the challenges to quality of service is increasing at the same pace at which services are expanding to all the nooks and crannies of the country.”


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