James Emejo in Abuja
The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has flagged off its nationwide grassroots consumer awareness programme with the country’s womenfolk as part of its strategies to stem consumer abuses in the country.
Also, in line with this vision, the agency has named the wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, as the Nigerian Consumer Ambassador for effective mobilisation of Nigerian women in the agency’s renewed crusade against consumer abuses.
CPC’s Director General, Mrs. Dupe Atoki, who flagged off the sensitisation campaign for women groups, said while addressing the National Convention of the National Council of Women’s Societies (NCWS) in Abuja at the weekend, that the women folk has a critical role to play in tackling consumer abuses in various sectors of the economy.
She said:”Women constitute the largest consumer block, in the economy by virtue of their innate ability and God-given role of making purchase decisions as well as in catering for the needs of the family hence, they suffer the most abuse as consumers”.
She said the Council identified NCWS “as an organisation that represents the entire strata of Nigerian women, particularly at the grassroots” as part of her agency’s drive “to drastically improve the level of consumer awareness in the country”.
On the decision of CPC to name the wife of the president as the Nigerian Consumer Ambassador, Atoki noted the “initiative to ensure Nigerian women know their rights can find no better personality to identify with its cause than Her Excellency, Hajia Aisha Buhari.”
She pointed that “CPC as the apex agency for the protection of Nigerian consumers has respectfully sought the consent of Her Excellency, and she has graciously agreed to serve as Nigerian Consumer Ambassador”, stating that “we are indeed very grateful to Her Excellency, who we trust will assist in taking consumer protection to another level under her watch as Nigerian Consumer Ambassador.”
Atoki also referred to the committed efforts of Hajia Buhari in taking on the plight of the internally displaced persons (IDPs), who are predominantly women and children, by raising funds to meet the needs of the IDPs outside government resources as exemplary, expressing her conviction that such commitment would safeguard Nigerian women from malpractices of unscrupulous businesses.
She said: “The same passion exhibited by Her Excellency on the plight of the IDPs will be brought to bear in support of CPC to ensure that women are not further impoverished by businesses, due to lack of awareness of their rights as consumers”.
The CPC boss added that the renewed vigour of the Council in raising the level of consumer education in the country was predicated on the fact that “an informed consumer is an assertive consumer”, stressing that “consumers on their part must have good grasp of their rights in order to be assertive and get value for money”.
Consumers, she stated, “must know where to seek redress, they must just not grumble, they must complain when dissatisfied with a product or service.”