The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) is said to be leading other stakeholders in seeing that a Federal Competition and Consumer Protection bill currently in the National Assembly is passed.
According to the bill sponsors, the bill when signed into law will guaranty that consumers are protected from monopoly and cartel in the production of goods and services.
Speaking at the annual Consumer Rights Awareness Advancement and Advocacy Initiative (CRAAAI) National Summit/Award, in Lagos on Friday, the National Chairman, Igbude Moses, noted that the bill has already passed second reading in the Federal House of Representatives and is expected to be passed into law in early 2017.
Moses lamented that Nigeria, unlike in the United States where competition laws are strong to prevent monopoly and cartel, the rights of consumers are violated, adding that manufacturers “play on the intelligence of the consumers.”
He called on consumers to know their rights in the marketplace and stand firm, arguing that it would prevent undue exploitation from producers, while making government and manufacturers more responsive to them.
“Today’s forum is aimed at educating the consumer and also for them to engage with the regulators in order to find out the best way the law can be effective to the consumer. When the law is passed, it will give consumers the power to determine the quality of the product to purchase in the market,” he said.
He expressed confidence that participation of all stakeholders in a sustained effort of enlightenment, and education awareness would create a sure way of improving the rights of the consumer.
The Director-General of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Osita Aboloma, noted that Consumer Confidence will be assured with an anti-monopoly law, because all goods manufactured in the country must meet specific standards.
He added that SON recently signed up to the Standard on Quality Management Customer Satisfaction guidelines for business to consumer e-commerce transactions, which guarantees e-consumer rights.
The DG, who was represented at the event by the Director of Marketing, SON, Mrs. Cynthia Ifeagwu, added:
“Everyone in the supply chain, the manufacturer, the seller, importer and the consumer must clearly understand the warranty conditions and attributed liabilities, bearing in mind the basic rights of a consumer, right to safety, right to information, right to be heard, right to seek redress, right to education, right to choose and right to satisfaction.”