Consumer rights

Violation of consumer rights: Why we’ll sue Google, other misguided brands —FCCPC

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has said it is determined to do everything possible to prosecute and bring to justice brands that have continued to abuse the rights of Nigerian consumers.

Speaking at an interactive media session in Lagos recently, the Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the commission, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, expressed his dismay that some companies in the country are taking advantage of Nigerian consumers, without providing remedy. resolution for these consumers.

According to him, the Commission’s decision to raise the bar in its fight against consumer rights infringements in the country had started to yield the desired results, as many consumers now find the agency more accessible to lodge their complaints than address wandering brands.

“One of the saddest things about my job is that the commission, a federal government agency, is easier to find, more accessible and more responsive than some private companies. I think businesses need to prioritize customer service, regardless of what type of business they are,” he said.

Irukera explained that the commission’s decision to prosecute some lenders in Lagos, over the past few weeks, was motivated by the need to clean up the country’s financial space and end the continued harassment of consumers.

In addition to operating illegally, the FCCPC boss added that the business and operating models of these lenders violate the rights of their consumers.

He also chastised some social media platforms, such as Google and Apple, for allowing their platforms to be used for the purpose of trampling on the rights of Nigerian consumers by these lenders.

“We have issued an order against Google and Apple to take some of the apps used by these illegal money lenders. Unfortunately, we can’t even find them. We recently received a letter from Google written by a very experienced lawyer. letter did not indicate any address, e-mail or even office address.

“I think that’s the height of irresponsibility on Google’s part. But the commission is undeterred. We’re going to sue them because they can’t continue to allow their platforms to be used to violate the rights of Nigerians,” he said.

Irukera, however, argued that the “war” on consumer rights infringements could only be won with media support, as it would give the commission the “regulatory tool” to do more.

The FCCPC boss argued that while Nigerian consumers are gradually becoming aware of their rights and are ready to fight for them, as evidenced by the volume of complaints the agency receives daily, there is still a long way to go. awareness. .

According to him, the agency had been able in recent years to bring some traders taking advantage of their customers to book.

“We show up everywhere to let people know we’re serious about cleaning up space, and what we’re doing is chasing the big guys so the little guys know we’re serious,” he said. he declared.

Irukera, however, assured the agency’s commitment to also protect the interests of brands in the country, noting that consumerism would only thrive when these brands were in business.