The Consumer Protection Council (CPC), has put the total value of sub-standard products removed from the nation’s markets in 2016 at over N242.3 million, with the food and beverages sector recording over N200 million, a lion share of the amount.
Disclosing this in Lagos at the public presentation of the agency’s 2016 Annual Report, its Director General, Mrs Dupe Atoki, stated that while Tobacco recorded the least value of about N300,000, over N202 million worth of products were seized from malls, open markets, shops and warehouses, putting the value of electrical and electronic products seized during the period at N40 million.
While promising the Nigerian consumer better days ahead, Atoki attributed the positive strides the agency had been able to record, since she assumed office, in May 2013, especially in Year 2016, to the adoption of new strategies, such as sectoral intervention and other unique initiatives.
“The sectoral intervention adopted in the strategic plan enabled each result and provided speed and spread to consumer redress,” she stated.
According to the CPC boss, the agency was also able to resolve 4,000 out of a total number of 5,000 complaints from consumers in various sectors, in the last one year, with the electricity and chemical and allied products sectors recording the highest and the least number of complaints respectively.
She explained that the recently-launched annual report highlights most significant achievements and interventions of the Council for the year 2016, adding that the sectoral intervention strategy deployed by the organization in the satellite television service, food and beverage with particular reference to the beer industry, banking, hospitality, aviation and electricity sectors, enabled it achieve results in those sectors.
Mrs. Atoki pointed out that the agency’s intervention in telecommunications and food and beverage, led to the Council’s order for balance payment of N1.85 million to an MTN subscriber, earlier paid N150,000 by the telecoms service provider, as against the N2 million winning prize.
According to her, the agency was able to order redress up to the tune of N2.5 billion as refunds to consumers, as part of the resolutions of their complaints on unsatisfactory services and products, during the year under review, with some of the refunds in foreign currencies.
She however expressed the agency’s resolve in enlightening the Nigerian consumers on their rights and the need to seek redress, whenever such rights are being flouted.
“The task of the agency is to ensure that the rights of consumers in Nigeria are not trampled upon, that is why we have decided to up our games at CPC. For us, the lives of every Nigerian is very important, that is why we will continue to educate them on their rights and at the same time wield the big stick at whoever tries to infringe on those rights,” she stated.