Consumer rights

The Power Institute calls for synergy to promote consumer rights

Ahmed Nagode, CEO NAPTIN

The Managing Director of the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), Mr. Ahmed Nagode, has called for greater synergy among power sector players to promote consumer rights and obligations.

Nagode made the call during a one-day national electricity consumer protection awareness forum in Abuja on Thursday.

The event was organized by NAPTIN, in collaboration with the Association for Public Policy Analysis (APPA).

He said the awareness program was imperative because consumer rights and protection were important.

According to him, consumers are major players in the Nigerian energy sector.

“Consumers need to be aware of their civic rights and at the same time they need to be aware of their civic responsibilities,” he said.

The head of NAPTIN said that actors must pay more attention in terms of training, with adequate coordination for consumer law and protection.

“We are all consumers; if we protect the rights and obligations of consumers, we protect ourselves and also protect and promote our interests.

“In any country, consumer rights are important, consumers must not be overburdened, they must be granted their rights. They have civil rights and these are enshrined in the laws of the land.

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“Consumers should pay their bills when they are due, but to those who receive a lot, a lot is expected. You have to give them what will enable them to exercise their rights, and that’s what will make the system work. ” he said.

However, Nagode said that NAPTIN is ready to work with other players in the electricity sector to organize more training on consumer rights.

Mr. Princewill Okorie, National President of APPA, said that he organized the program because the energy sector was essential for the development of the economy.

“We found that the implementation of Articles 80 and 81 of the Electricity Sector Reform Act dealing with protection of electricity consumers and performance standards of licensees is not properly enforced. .

“We observed unfair commercial practices towards consumers and going further, we found that consumers lack knowledge and information and are even afraid to protect themselves.

“Thus, the training will allow the consumer to know the rules and procedures that govern him, thus improving the relationship between him and the electricity distribution companies.”

In addition, Mr. Shittu Shaibu, Deputy Director of Consumer Affairs at the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, said he had worked with all stakeholders to resolve the issue of consumer rights.

Shaibu said more needs to be done to inform consumers of their rights and obligations.

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“I can assure you that there is enough regulation, compliance and collaboration with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), as well as the National Guidance Agency and other consumer protection officials,” he said.

Also speaking, Ms. Mercy Ogwu, Deputy Director of Consumer Education of the FCCPC, said that consumer law offers people a way to fight against abusive commercial practices.

Ogwu said awareness was key to consumer rights, and if consumers knew something existed for their benefit, they would demand it and ensure they were not charged extra.

“This action will make the market fairer for business transactions,” the deputy director said.

He reiterated the FCCPC’s commitment to always support such programs to increase consumer awareness, protect consumer rights and ensure a level playing field in the marketplace.