4-year strategic plan driving us at CPC—DG
The Director-General, Consumer Protection Council, Mrs. Dupe Atoki has said that she has drafted a four year strategic plan to drive the council’s activities in the next your years.
In an interview, she noted that the entire scenario of regulating and protecting consumers’ rights was clouded with sharp practices of service providers, but we have been able to strike an antidote.
She said “Having analysed the depth of consumer abuse, it was a herculean task for me to find out how to begin to engage these challenges. So, after a lot of thoughts, I came out with a four-year strategic plan, which was based mainly on sectoral intervention”.
According to her, “Prior to that, we had spent a lot of time at the CPC addressing individual complaints and matched against the huge number of abuse that I highlighted. It would take forever for us to address several complaints and the resources we would need, both human and financial, would be astronomical”.
“So, we came up with the quick way of engaging sectors by looking at the challenges there, looking at the abuse, correcting the anomalies so that the complaints that will arise will be minimised. This has proved very productive for us because we have engaged the food and beverage sector; satellite television sector; and aviation sector. And what has come out of that is a great reduction of the abuse.
She further explained that at the intervention, what we do is in the form of an in-depth investigation into each sector to find out why the complaint arose. If it is a product, we look into their processes to see if they were inherent defects and then we come up with a recommendation that will clean the system up. So, that has helped in quickly resolving the issue.
On how the interventions have driven the crusade of correcting rights abuse, Atoki said “In the food and beverage, for instance, there were huge complaints of rusty bottle tops, half-filled cans and foreign substances in bottles. We engaged one of the leading bottlers, who had the highest number of complaints about their products. We engaged them and carried out on-site visits to their factories and at the end of the day, we came up with recommendations to clean their system and this led to a renewal of the various plants that they have in the country.
“Right now, at the end of six to seven months investigation, the products and the bottles are now clean; the cans are full now and there are fewer complaints about foreign substances. So, this has translated into ensuring that all the bottlers in that sector key into the process that we have engaged the leader of the pack and every bottler in that group has improved on its processes. So, we now have full compliance in the food and beverage sector.
“We also intervened in the digital satellite television service, which a lot of Nigerians subscribed to and had several complaints. But again, rather than deal with individual complaints, we invited the service providers, engaged with them, had an in-depth enquiry into the challenges and how they could come up with better services and we issued our orders. The major complaint from that sector was the simultaneous release of service and payment. This has been resolved because we directed the company to ‘re-tweet’ their processes and all their equipment to be able to capture immediate payment and immediate release of service; a lot of consumers are happy about this.