James Emejo in Abuja
The Director General, Consumer Protection Council, (CPC), Mrs. Dupe Atoki said she has the political will under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the consumer rights protection law in the country.
She also attributed the marked reduction in the flagrant display of impunity by businesses and multinationals to the effective use of the council’s enabling legislation.
Speaking in at the mentorship and business development programme of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), where she was also conferred with the Guiding Light Award by the association in recognition of her selfless and professional service to the country, she said the use of the law had made the difference in her career.
Atoki further noted that the council has prosecutory powers and could intervene in any sector of the economy to safeguard consumer rights when violated.
She said while the CPC had no laws regarding consumer rights, it nonetheless has the powers to take existing laws of organisation and implement such towards safeguarding rights of consumers.
“If you use the law, consumers will be protected,” she said.
She said:” Interventions in other problematic sectors will also be undertaken as we progress in order to alleviate the suffering of consumers”, stating that the strategy became inevitable in view of the widespread consumer abuses in the country.
“In view of the myriads of consumer complaints in various sectors, it became apparent that the resolution of individual complaints alone will not make the desired impact”, pointing out that “sectoral intervention was identified as a major strategy for arresting systemic irregularities and modifying the behaviour of firms for faster and widespread resolution of consumer complaints.”
The council’s director general further noted with satisfaction that the agency’s “interventions in the food and beverage and satellite television sectors have drastically reduced the quantum of complaints in those sectors and conferred some benefits on consumers”.