Historically, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), was established by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018 to, among others, develop and promote fair, efficient and competitive markets in the Nigerian economy, facilitate access by all citizens to safe products, and secure the protection of rights for all consumers in Nigeria.
Statutorily, the Commission in fulfilment of its mandate deploys several regulatory tools to monitor and modify behaviour of service providers and manufacturers.
Some key areas of operation include complaint resolution, surveillance and enforcement, consumer education, as well as research and strategy.
However, in as much as all the successes so far recorded in the commission cannot be said to have being solely achieved by Mr. Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, it cannot in the same vein be erroneous to say that most of the successes were recorded since he occupied the driver’s seat of the commission.
His exploit in the commission is not in any way surprising to most observers in the consumer segment of Nigeria’s economy as not quite long upon his assumption of office, he rolled up his sleeve, and hit the ground running, and told Nigerians, particularly Journalists, how he planned changing the consumer landscape, and also how he would protect consumers from abuses and the need to review consumer protection law in the country.
Without any scintilla of exaggeration, the tripartite promise that comprises changing the consumer landscape, protection of consumers from abuses and review of consumer protection law in the country have all satisfactorily been delivered as he promised.
Since he began to head the commission, not a few observers have been asking if he can truly change Nigeria’s consumer protection landscape as the then DG of CPC.
The need to answer the question has since then, by each passing day becoming necessary as the commission, under his leadership, has been keeping its mandate perspective.
Since he assumed the leadership position at FCCPC, laudable progress has been made in resolving consumer issues, as can be seen in some key sectors like health care, electricity, banking, telecommunication, and aviation.
Prior to his appointment as Director General of the protection council in April 2017, most people parochially see the mandate of the Protection Council to be limited to consumer issues that came up from business transactions that pertain to tangible products only; without thinking of issues that came up from services.
Without overly buttressing his achievements as the Executive Vice Chairman of the FCCPC, how far Irukera has been performing is inherent in the collation and encapsulation of testimonials given by not few Nigerians, who were once aggrieved as consumers, but later came out satisfied by virtue of the services rendered to them by FCCPC under his leadership.
For instance, Princess Xana said: “I bought a default item from Mama Tega cosmetics Yaba…staffs were subsequently rude when I complained. I reported to FCCPC, I got my refund and most importantly an apology. That shows the consumer has a right in this nation and some organisation are still working. Thanks FCCPC Team.”
Mr. Kolawole Dickson on his part testified that “Being a Nigerian residing outside of the country, who until now had lost any sense of hope and belonging about my beloved country, this agency has rekindled hope in me, to never to give up about Nigeria.
“I was unable to make any headway with Ikeja Electric since 2019, involving NERC was even worse but just under a month, you guys made a lot of difference. Wish you all the best. Please do not catch the bug that makes others unethical and inefficient in Nigeria but keep up the good work always. Regards.”
Another once aggrieved consumer, Ezenandu Nchedo, who also has his complaint resolved by FCCPC said: “I never knew something work in Nigeria till I complained to you people on June 30, 2021 concerning my phone that Raya Nigeria have refused to repair which was under warranty .
“It was so swift and fast. I was begged to come and collect my phone. When I got there, I was given a new phone which was higher that the phone that got spoilt. You people are the best. Kudos to work well done. May God bless you all.”
Patrick Okeke wrote to FCCPC thus, “Dear Sir, I would like to thank you for successful resolution of this matter. The Ikeja Distribution staff responded swiftly after my complaint was forwarded to them by the commission. I am extremely proud of the work you are currently doing. I never thought a government agency could be so effective and useful to consumers as you did. I appreciate your good work and thank you for helping.”
Ndubuisi Anagaraku, in his own testimonial thanked FCCPC for service rendered to him at no cost thus: “I want to say a very big thank you to FCCPC team my case was log just last week to First Bank Plc and as at today my money was been reverse was the wrong credited account to First Bank. Two months ago. That was a very quick one from FCCPC. You guys are amazingly different.”
For Yakubu Musa Yakubu: “My issue has been fully resolved. I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to the FCCPC team for the diligence in resolving the issue. I have received full payment of the amount.”
As for Godwin Martins: “CPC is my number one go to anytime a sector is not delivering services how they are supposed to and CPC always come through. The swiftness at which they swing to action is really amazing. And I commend the work they are doing. Kudos”
Adagboyi Ugbabe in the same vein said: “I must commend the FCCPC team for the swift and prompt service delivery. I was deeply skeptical about the unnecessary bureaucracy that characterised most government agencies; but FCCPC proved me wrong when I filed a complaint against a big Fintech company.
“FCCPC team made sure that the issues were resolved amicably between both parties and a fair compensation was paid on time by the Fintech Company. Thank you FCCPC team.”
Kehinde Adeboye, also said: “I am happy to report that the issue with the estimated billing I reported sometimes ago in relation to Ikeja Electric has been resolved and our apartment has now been provided with a prepaid meter. Thank you very much.”
As the rain of commendation continues to pour, Chibuzo Udolisa, equally commended the commission and said: “It is compelling on me to leave a testimonial of this kind, as to the ebullient approach and efficient, effective, effectual and impactful place of the commission on the two complaints I have registered with it.
“Where it seemed the service providers had thrown me under the bus and made themselves unreachable for engagement, they got back and suck up to it, after my approaching this commission. On both occasions, the results were satisfactory to me in the end.”
There is no denying the fact that FCCPC’s laudable successes under Irukera’s led team have truly reflected the commission as a protector that is positioned to midwife a change for progress in the country, particularly in the consumer sector of the economy.
“In its change agent role, the commission has become a revolutionising catalyst for progressive change and modernisation.
“In fact, consumers are lucky to have in Irukera a change-compliant leader. He and his team at FCCPC have no doubt demonstrated the panache for innovativeness-for-prosperity spirit, a remarkable departure from the platitudinous of the past. Irukera and his team have found in consumers the immeasurable appetite for a holistic change in virtually all segments of consumer market”.
Credit to Indepedent Newspaper