News Commentary: The imperative of Protecting Consumers Rights in Nigeria
Written by Joey Shekwonuzhibo on March 15, 2023
Today being Wednesday 15 ,Nigeria will join the rest of the World to mark the Consumer Rights Day.
It is a a day set aside every year in order to raise awareness about consumer rights and promote consumer protection.
The day also provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of protecting consumers, promoting their rights, and ensuring that they have access to safe and affordable products and services.
For the avoidance of doubts ,a consumer is any person who purchases or offers to purchase goods, products and commodities for consumption. This includes person to whom services are rendered.
It must be pointed out that in Nigeria ,the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act of 2019 which was enacted recently has copious provisions on the right of a consumer. These include Right to quality service;Right against unfair prices and terms;Right to goods corresponding with samples and descriptions;Right not be given a condition before making a purchase:Right to be given adequate information of every transaction among others
But the big question is : to what extent have consumers in Plateau state and Nigeria enjoyed these protection rights .
With the long queues at filling stations daily being experienced by consumers in the streets of Jos and other parts of the country ,does this not constitute a violation of their rights ?
What about the present situation in banks where consumers of their services complain of increasing frustration due to the naira re-design policy of the federal government . Are consumers rights being protected in the local markets and other areas where people transact their businesses? These and many more questions beg for answers in Plateau and other parts of the country .
The Consumer Rights Day serves as a reminder that consumers have the right to be protected from unfair business practices and to have access to safe, quality goods and services.
It is important for the citizens to always realize that a consumer whose rights have been violated by any person can either refer the matter for redress or file a complaint in the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission
The Consumer also has the option of seeking redress in a Court of competent jurisdiction
Therefore governments, businesses, and other stakeholders must work together to promote consumer rights and address consumer concerns .