Mr. Babatunde Irukera, Director-General, FCCPC

COVID-19: FCCPC launches digital platform for consumer protection

* Lists areas of priority attention amid Coronavirus lockdowns

* Presses criminal charges against flagrant suppliers, retailers
Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect
In pursuant to Sections 70-75; 107, 108, 116, 123-127 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Act (FCCPA), Nigera’s Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has presented an update to its release of February 28, 2020, and update of March 24, 2020.

In a statement, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FCCPC, stated that the Commission’s current operational priorities remain “addressing key competition and consumer protection issues related to and arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As regards consumer protection, the Commission notes that the prevalent aggravation and consumer complaints during the COVID-19 epidemic and subsequent lockdowns in the country include “failed electronic banking transactions and associated delays in restoration, reconciliation or resolution; slow speed/throttling of Internet connectivity/speed as well arbitrary and inexplicable charges for data.”

According to the regulatory Commission, other key areas of complaints it is addressing are restricted access or delayed signal release after payment for payTV services; continuing irrational and excessive increases in prices of certain medical devices (infrared thermometers), basic relevant hygiene products (sanitisers, facemasks) and certain medications (Chloroquine and Vitamin C); and food items; continuing insufficient supply of electricity and arbitrary billing.

The FCCPC noted that though some suppliers and retailers have demonstrated circumspection in compliance with the Commission’s release and update consumer protection and enforcement efforts, “some others have continued to take advantage of the current restriction on movement to unfairly, increase prices in an unreasonable manner to manifestly unjust levels.”

The Commission says it is already pursuing criminal charges against some flagrant or repeat violators, and is expanding investigation into other players and industries.

The FCCPC CEO restates its determination to hold violators to the appropriate weight of the law, including retrospectively after the pandemic crisis.

Meanwhile, in furtherance of its special COVID-19 focus and response, the Commission has created a dedicated platform for the pandemic-related complaints, more particularly the ones related to the prevalent issues identified above.

It, therefore, encourages producers and providers to prioritise compliance with consumer protection laws and responsiveness to their customers.

The Commission stated that COVID-19-related complaints and or feedback regarding the issues identified above may be filed at the dedicated COVID-19 complaints portal at:; 07086159973.

Irukera implored consumers to understand that due to a reasonably high volume of complaints/feedbacks it is receiving, instead of providing “individual responses or case progress all the time, however, we are aggregating the complaints and addressing them since they are similar.”

Other COVID-19 related violations such as scams and misleading advertisement about vaccines, therapies or cures for COVID-19 should also be addressed to the dedicated portal and will be met with stiff penalties, he said.

FCCPC assures consumers that it will continue to provide further guidance on its operations and how stakeholders can engage the Commission or conduct their business at this time.

It further urges consumers of products and services to avoid large gatherings, including markets/stores to make needless or non-essential purchases, and to practise the strongest discipline in staying at home and enforcing physical distancing measures.

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