May 23, 2018

SON, CPC, lead efforts at harmonised regulatory framework for E-commerce

Cashless economy


By Cynthia Alo

The standard organization of Nigeria, SON, and other sister agencies like Consumer Protection Council, CPC, Nigerian Customs Services,   Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency, LASCOPA, among others, are planning to have a harmonized policy framework to regulate the digital market.

The effort, according to them, was necessary considering loads of complaints from customers over alleged sub standard goods and services offered online.

File: Cashless

SON in a stakeholder’s forum titled ‘The role of standards and quality regulation in electronic media’  in Lagos recently, said it can no longer  fold arms and watch digital marketers arm-twist customers with market strategies fraught with deceit.

The agencies went further to list possible means to achieving their aims to include: interagency collaboration on e-commerce, quality delivery, consumer protection and harmonized policy framework across all borders of agencies responsible for e-commerce.

They contended that this will eliminate multiplicity of functions; aid recognition of  local contents and review existing  penalties attached by financial service providers. They also promised to set up a committee to develop draft regulation for the e-commerce industry to structurally, define agreement between retailers and consumers among others.

Addressing stakeholders at the forum, The Director General of SON, Mr Osita Aboloma, who was represented by the Director Corporate Affairs and SON consultant, Mr. Paul Angya, stated that E-commerce is a fast-rising platform allowing organizations to reach out to a larger pool of consumers and therefore should understand why SON is pressing for the protection of  products, distributors and  consumers alike.

He noted that the aim of the forum was to champion a more safe and secure online platform for sales of goods and services in Nigeria.

He said: “With the increasing volumes of consumer complaints on the quality of products sold online, the Standard Organization of Nigeria, SON, Consumer Protection Council, CPC, and other sister regulatory agencies, can no longer fold our arms. It has become necessary to have a robust regulatory framework in place for this sector. This will enhance trading within and across borders thereby increasing the gross domestic product of the nation” he added.

Delivering a paper titled ‘E-commerce and consumer protection’  the Director General of Consumer Protection Council, CPC, Mr. Babatunde Irukera said that theft, cybercrime, substandard products, fragile regulation and inadequate technology needed to be addressed in order to have a standardized market.

He, however, cautioned that individuals must not continue to wait for the government to fight every issue especially cybercrime in E-commerce, adding that cybercrime is a commercial crime that requires not only government but individual actions.

Photo: e-commerce, 21/5/18