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CPC deliberates on regulatory policies to protect e-consumers

The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) on Wednesday said it would collaborate with relevant stakeholders to deliberate on government’s regulatory policies to protect e-consumer to enlighten them on their rights.

Mr Babatunde Irukera, the Director-General CPC, said this at the e-Commerce Consumer Protection Forum organised by the Association for Public Policy Analysis (APPA), a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Abuja.

The theme of the forum was “Making Digital Marketing Fairer in Nigeria: Perspectives of Electricity, Banking and Telecommunication Sector’’.

Irukera was represented by Mrs Mercy Ogwu, the Assistant Director, Consumer Education Department of CPC.

According to him, e-commerce is a business transaction conducted electronically on the internet and has many advantages compared to conventional methods.

He said it was being faced with challenges such as cyber-crime, data theft and the like which led to financial loss, invasion of privacy and lack of adequate online redress mechanism among others.

The director-general said e-Commerce remained a topical issue in developing nations because of the complexity associated with digital marketing.

He said this was particularly in Nigeria where infrastructure, issue of trust and inefficiency of on-line services posed a great challenge.

According to him, the forum will proffer solution to these challenges to ensure a fairer digital market place.

Irukera implored participants at the forum to focus on e-consumer abuses and lapses in the identified sectors and proffer solutions that would benefit consumers.

Mr AbdullahI Adamu, the Executive Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), in his remarks pledged the council’s support to consumer benefit and protection.

“The Council is interested in supporting efforts that will make citizens that are e-consumers benefit and contribute to provision of efficient services by banks, telecommunications and electricity operators.

“We shall continue to encourage our people to take advantage of online banking concept that has made banking easy.’’

In his address, Mr Princewill Okorie, the National President, APPA reiterated the negative impressions of e-consumer offences to the growth of the nation.

According to Okorie, an appraisal of the travail of Nigerian e-consumers presently reveals impoverishment of the people instead of improving their well being.

He said regulatory agencies, rather than protect consumers were always willing to encourage increase in price paid by consumers without proper action in ensuring consumer satisfaction.

Okorie called on the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders to ensure an effective monitoring and enforcement of measures that would protect consumer rights.

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