By Matthew Abi
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has assured of the importance of consumer protection and education of consumers of smart product in the country.
The Director-General of FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera said this at a Stakeholders’ Forum during the 2019 World Consumer Right Day with a theme: “Thrusted Smart Product” organised to commemorate at Bannex Plaza, in Abuja.
According Mr Irukera, most constitutions across the world do not capture consumerism as a fundamental human right and the nature of business practiced is mainly centred at making profit.
“The biggest problem in the World today is whether consumers truly recognise their rights and whether companies do enough to respect their obligation to regard those rights.
“And so, to dedicate a specific day to the rights of consumers, I think it is appropriate, with the number of years this has happened, I think consumers are more aware of their rights.
“Although in spite of this, there is still a long way to travel for consumers to truly understand their rights and for them to have the motivation and understand the enforcement mechanism that is available.
“This is also an opportunity for governments to reinforce and deepen the regulatory framework and the enforcement mechanism to ensure consumer rights are respected,’’ Irukera said.
“Because it is the hub for exchange and sale for smart products whether telephone devices, televisions, computers and the like.’’
He said the event was also an opportunity to speak to the key stakeholders, those who sell and buy the products.
Mr Edozie Ugwu, urged the commission to ensure a proper channel where consumers could get redress for fake or substandard products.
“There is the need for a desk officer to be in some sensitive public places like the public market and airport in case there is any short change so the consumer can easily complain for a redress.
“There must also be a proper punishment for such offenders as this is the only way that people will be restrained from bringing fake and substandard products into the country.’’
Also speaking, a tenant in Bannex plaza urged the commission to collaborate with the channels of smart products in ensuring that proper standards for products were set.
“Every consumer of a smart product wants his or her privacy to be protected and that is something that the commission should work on.
“When you use smart products, you exchange information’s such as your email, passwords, banking transactions and these should be kept private and should not be leaked to the public via globe or internet.
“We also expect the commission to educate the consumers and traders on product specifications because the specifications for some products differ across the globe,’’ he said.