The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) said it will not be intimidated by the financial muscles and connections of any service provider, either by individual or multinational companies that infringe or abuse the rights of any consumer .
The CPC Director-General Babatunde Irukera, who made this known to journalists in Abuja over the weekend said they will deploy all the constitutional powers in its armoury to defend the consumer at all levels.
According to him, most multinationals like multi-choice, owners of DSTV and GOTV after illegally increasing the prices of their bouquets and vehemently refusing to return it to the original price after intervention by the council has continue to frustrate the process in the court by adding that several strategies deployed to delay the case is detrimental to the national well being of the country.
Irukera explained different approaches the Council is using to resolve abuses of consumer rights on daily basis which is not known to most Nigerians “consumers space has been severely abused and the reason why you might not see a lot of that work, is exactly the same reason, the magnitude of the problem is such that because the space has been so badly abused which makes resolution not to make such a big difference but for us here every single resolution makes a big difference.
” There are two approaches to the work of the Consumer Protection Council, both of them are different arms of Protection, one is prevention the other is remedial, we pursue a lot of efforts to prevent abuse, to prevent exploitation, prevent injury.
“A lot of the consumer violations are not isolated they are literally industry wide, so it is difficult to know that cases have been resolved on a daily basis, there are many, many things that we stop from happening.
” Most of our works on daily basis is either to be engaging in some preventive measures or resolving one complaint or the other” he said
On the incessant abuse of consumer rights by the aviation industry, the CPC boss said they are engaging with the civil aviation authority and other stakeholders in the industry on how we can actually improve the consumer experience especially with respect to on time departure, proper disclosures, refunds among other things.
Speaking on the joint committee between the Nigeria Communications Commission and the CPC, Irukera said,
“We have been meeting, we have scoped out the work, the operators themselves are already aware of what they are confronted with and they recognize the need to cooperate in a collaborative manner for the industry and they also recognized the consequences of failure to cooperate.”
He however, called on media owners and practitioners to support the council in its fight to protect abuses of consumer rights as everyone is a “victim” either directly or indirectly.