15 May 2015

Federal Govt intensifies efforts to check business’ impunity

The Federal Government has moved a step further in its efforts to check the prevalent business practice of consumer abuse with impunity, with the inauguration of the first in-house audio-visual studio at the Consumer Protection Council.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, who commissioned the studio in Abuja, on Thursday, said apart from the fact that the project would help increase consumer awareness, business operators would also learn to respect consumer rights more since it would be easier for aggrieved consumers to name and shame fraudulent operators through the various CPC studios across the zonal offices in Nigeria.

He noted that while the advent of industries in new areas like telecommunications, information technology and online sales had brought new challenges for consumers as regards getting full value for their money, the current management of CPC was resolute in its drive towards addressing critical issues of abuses across all sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“The Nigerian market, like all other markets in the world, is not perfect. I am aware that consumers contend on a daily basis with issues arising from sharp practices of dubious businesses and the abuse of consumer rights by producers and service providers. The advent of industries in new areas like telecommunication, information technology and online sales poses entirely new concerns for consumers.

“Economies are dynamic, and when they grow and add new sectors and technologies like we have seen in the last couple of years, the need for change in people’s behavioural patterns becomes imperative.”

“This underscores the important role of CPC in enforcing compliance of businesses with consumer protection laws and educating consumers to be assertive in the marketplace. It is, therefore, gratifying that the current administration in CPC is resolute in its determination to drastically increase the level of consumer awareness in the country and check the impunity of businesses,” Aganga said.
Speaking during the event, the Director-General, CPC, Dupe Atoki, said consumer education was a core mandate of the Council, adding that the CPC had already developed innovative awareness strategies towards addressing the problem of consumer ignorance and apathy.
“On assumption of duty, two years ago, I conducted a base line survey on consumer rights awareness in Nigeria, which revealed that consumers in Nigeria were largely unaware of their rights and where to seek redress. The need to increase the Council’s visibility and impact through an aggressive consumer rights education and advocacy campaigns became my top priority. Consumer education is a core mandate of the Council and a key deliverable of consumer protection,” she said.
Atoke added that “to address the low consumer awareness, a number of strategies were developed on how to increase consumer rights education and advocacy through a variety of media platforms, with particular emphasis on the radio, television and social media; due to their vast reach both in the urban and grass root areas.”

Credit: Tribune

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