Opinion: Consumer protection Real or Illusion
In this survey our reporter asked Nigerians about views concerning the rights of consumers and obligations of service providers according to the consumer protection law if it truly is functional or not. Their response about this law is intriguing.
Mrs. Najite Okugbere a financial analyst is of the opinion that consumer rights awareness low in Nigeria so people do not know if the law exists or not. As such they proposed that unawareness may have affected utilization of consumer protection law she recommends that the enactment of consumer rights, the law enforcement agencies of consumer protection should see to it that consumers know their right. In her words “the enforcement agency should educate people to know that it is their right to ask questions about products they are not sure of and it is their rights to demand for quality products and services and get value for their money.”
In support of Mrs Okugbere, Mrs Margret Akpan utilization of consumer rights by
the Nigerian consumers remains an issue of concern because consumers are ignorant on where
to turn to in case they encounter an irresponsible producer or service provider. In her words “ When we are maltreated by companies we don’t know where to go to, we don’t know who to turn to especially with most of this foreign companies and they are using it against us because we don’t know the law, we don’t even know our rights.”
Ms. Bidemi Adesanya a hair stylist says she does not know if there is anything as consumer right law because she has never heard of it, hence she is not aware of the act
Mr. Ladipo Akinola says that the consumer protection law is an illusion and that the government is responsible. To him “Overall responsibility for creating safe markets for consumers lies with the authorities. This is because the process involves: setting
clear rules and guidance on how to develop safe products; and providing adequate tools and resources to market surveillance and enforcement agencies to enable them to assess risks and ensure compliance so that the consumer has nothing to worry about on any products and even if they do. They know where to go and what to do when they get there.
Mr. George Williams a Lagos state businessman has it that “any law that is made without the citizens being informed is no law but a mere statement” he further said that there is a serious need for the governments to step up and drive improvement within the law enforcement agencies and the media, then consumer consumers will defend their rights and ensuring that their voice is heard when substandard products and services is given to them in the development of policy, and the media will educate the masses
From our survey, it goes to show that the consumer protection law though it exist but limited awareness of consumer rights makes it look like a mirage, thus consumer suffer exploitation in the market place.
We at Princess Legal world hereby advocated for active involvement and participation (consumerism) by consumers from all quarters that is the Central and State Governments, the educational institutions, the NGOs, the print and electronic media to see that they do their best and ensure that consumers get their due