…Seeks partnership with LIM to protect consumers
The Consumer Protection Council (CPC), has noted that majority of complaints of exploitation it received from consumers were about exploitation from Electricity Distribution Companies, through estimated billings.
Director-General of CPC, Dr. Babatunde Irukera, who disclosed this in Benin City, however said there was need for Lawyers in the Media (LIM), to partner with appropriate regulators for consumers to be protected from exploitation of service providers in the country.
According him, the law has no teeth against service providers and consumers’ sovereignty does not exist in Nigeria.
Dr. Irukera who stated this at the LIM quarterly round table with the theme “Consumer Protection and Economic Development: Need for Media Intervention”, which held in Benin City, explained that many Nigerians were still being exploited because the consumer protection regime in the country is still growing.
He stressed that consumers need a lot of protection from the hands of organised service providers and urged LIM not to blame regulatory bodies but to innovate to stay ahead of competitors, adding that service providers strict liability regime must be emphasised in the country.
“Consumer protection regime is still growing. It is apparent many people still get exploited. It is important that Lawyers in the Media partner with the appropriate regulators so that we protect the society together.
“The consumers should approach the entity before approaching a lawyer. There should be no strict liability. Strict liability is a slippery slope.
“We hope LIM will take steps to make people aware of their rights. How many people in the street know about their right. We need to educate people to know their right”, the CPC boss said.
Meanwhile Governor Godwin Obaseki, who was represented by Solicitor General of the state, Iyamu 0luwole, at the event, appealed to LIM to always help in protecting the interest of consumers in the law court, saying that the power of the pen of the media and the power of the law could work together to help protect the right of the consumers.
Chief Judge of Edo state, Justice Esohe Ikponmwen, observed that consumers do not really get fair hearing in court because of poor representation in law court.
In her speech, Chairperson of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in the Media Forum, Ms. Theodora Kio-Lawson, said the aim of the forum was to inject the driving process that will encourage lawyers in the media to promote peace, stabilty and disseminate vital information for the benefit of the society.
She said the forum hopes to see how to create the needed change in the society with the relationship that exist between lawyers and the media due to the global spread of news and information in Nigeria.