Who should we thank for this? Senator Bukola Saraki, yes.
In his Welcome Back speech at the House on Tuesday, the Senate President highlighted the need to protect and preserve consumer rights as a task before the upper chamber in 2017. This is in addition to his unrelenting campaign for the promotion of locally made goods throughout recess.
Senator Saraki said, “The current situation where consumers’ rights are violated and treated with indignity must stop”. We can’t wait to see the approach the House will take in making this happen but it will be wise to begin by creating some awareness for consumer rights in the country. Nigerians are hardly aware of their rights as consumers and daily, these rights are infringed upon by service providers in the public and private sector.
If we had to make a quick list of some of the companies that are culpable in this regard, we’d start with Arik Air. The airline company that has daily treated customers with disrespect, has exploited them and has provided the lowest quality of service possible in past few years, without apologies. Although the Consumer Protection Council has clamped down on the airline over time, with the most recent being a summon for Arik management to appear before the council over alleged abuse of customer rights, the CPC is still a weak body.
If the Senate decides, as promised to rise in defence of Nigerian consumers, it will be a long and tough fight. A total overhaul of the CPC laws will suffice with more stringent actions to follow.
Maybe good times are here.