By Folasade Akpan
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has stressed the need for women entrepreneurs to be enlightened on the rights and responsibilities to their consumers and customers in line with the FCCPC Act, 2018.
Mr Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a sensitisation programme for women entrepreneurs on the provisions of the Act.
Irukera was represented by Mr Adamu Abdullahi, the Executive Commissioner for Operations.
The one-day exercise which was carried out in collaboration with the 50 Million African Women Speak Project (50MAWSP) had as its theme: “Empowering Women Entrepreneurs for Greater Height: The Place of FCCPC 2018”.
According to Irukera, women entrepreneurs are doing a lot to ensure that the Nigerian economy grows and should not be left out of the information in the Act.
He said that the law was no respecter of persons and ignorance was no excuse, so it was the responsibility of the entrepreneurs and traders to know the laws they were bound by.
“Since the new Act was passed into law in 2018 and we are no longer Consumer Protection Council, but FCCPC, we want to let people know, especially market women what their responsibilities are towards us and our own responsibilities to them.
“The way they have to treat their customers and the rights that the customers have, as well as the obligations that they have to their customers.”
Mrs Joy Lekwauwa, the Head of Consumer Education Department, said that the aim of the programme was to empower women entrepreneurs using the FCCPC Act 2018.
According to her, the act permits the commission to collaborate with stakeholders in different sectors of the economy to know the provisions of the Act.
“Also, it is there for businesses and consumers. If you package it as a literature and keep it there and nobody knows about it, the nation remains where it is.
“If you can expose it to different sectors, the provisions, and how they can benefit from it, then we can grow the economy of the nation.”
Mr Tam Tamunobelema, the Head of Legal Department, while explaining some provisions of the Act, said that the commission played a major role in service delivery, sales and marketing as its activities affect services.
“When you go to Section Two that talks about the scope of this law, you will find that it covers every commercial activity. It covers even where government agencies that does commercial activity is involved.”
He also said that the Act made provision for the establishment of a tribunal which ensures that issues are resolved withing six months, adding that the tribunal has just been inaugurated.
Speaking on consumers’ rights and responsibilities, Mrs Bimbo Ailemen, Consumer Education Officer for South West, said that consumers should be very vigilant to avoid being deceived.
She said that they should ensure that products were properly labelled and that must include the name of the producer and address, date of production and expiry, adding that where products were expired, sellers must ensure that they are not sold.
She said that when customers are in doubt as to the authenticity of certain products they should not buy them.
Mrs Saratu Ajibike, the Local Content Manager for 50MAWSP, said that the exercise has exposed them to the provisions of the Act and also served as a way of support for the women.
“Sincerely, I didn’t know that we had so much power available to us, so such trainings show you the kind of powers that you have as a business owner and also as a consumer.
“This is the kind of support we want from them, for them to educate the women and build their capacity, because sometimes we have complaints from our women that they have challenges with their consumers and even as consumers themselves.
“We want them to come back again when we have a larger house so that they will keep educating women to know their customers’ rights and also how to give quality services to their customers.” (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)