FG frowns at companies’ inability to resolve consumer complaints

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has frowned at the inability of some companies and service providers to resolve consumers’ complaints and provide feedback mechanism for their products.

Mr Babatunde Irukera, the Director-General of the commission, said this at a National Virtual Policy Dialogue organised by the Nigerian Global Affairs Council in Abuja on Monday.

Irukera said the development had resulted to an increase in the weekly complaint reports received from consumers by the commission.

He said that the commission was a secondary complaint resolution organisation, adding that they received no fewer than 10,000 complaints weekly.

The director-general said that the commission did not have the necessary staff strength to handle the myriad of complaints thronging them.

He said the commission had received complaints on issues from all sectors ranging from power, foreign/local airlines, telecommunications, pay television and online trading among others.

Irukera urged service providers to use the same mechanism they used in distributing their products and services to receive their customers feedback and resolve complaints.

According to him, pushing all complaint resolution to the government is not a sustainable approach to consumer protection.

“We are a watchdog not consumer protection department of companies.

“People come to the commission for everything and we have just about 12 to 16 persons in our complaint resolution department.

“Even if we decide to employ another 3,000 people, we will still not be able to handle all the complaints that come to us,” he said.

“The real people to resolve their consumers’ complaints are companies but they have failed in their duties to customers.

“Our work is to ensure that companies treat people fairly, eliminating barriers so that competition can thrive and also make sure companies do their job.

“Companies should rise up to their responsibility of resolving their customers’ complaints to reduce the work on the commission.’’

Irukera, however, advised consumers to work jointly with the commission to hold companies accountable and make them turn a new leaf for effective consumer protection.

He said: “Transformation is when citizens themselves take responsibility and if there is anywhere a citizen can take responsibility, it is in consumer protection”. (NAN)

FCC lauds NNPC on women inclusion, AKK Project

The Federal Character Commission (FCC) has applauded the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for ensuring a high level of gender balance in management positions in the Corporation.

The Executive Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Muheeba Farida Dankaka, gave the commendation in Abuja during a courtesy visit by the management of NNPC led by the Group managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari.

The Corporation’s spokesman, Dr. Kennie Obateru, stated that the FCC boss also congratulated NNPC on the recent flag-off of the Ajaokuta-Kano-Kaduna (AKK) gas pipeline project.

Dr. Dankaka, who informed that her Commission’s mandate extends to equitable distribution of social and infrastructural amenities, said the AKK project was one that could boost the nation’s economy and wellbeing of Nigerians.

The FCC boss also disclosed that the recent recruitment by NNPC was transparent and ensured equal opportunity for all Nigerians, adding that the Corporation fully complied with FCC guidelines in the exercise.

In his remarks, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, stated that the national oil company, as a responsible corporate entity, has always provided a level playing field for all thereby granting equal employment opportunity to Nigerians from all classes and backgrounds.

“On the issues around inclusion and physically challenged, as a matter of fact, today in our employment we have people in wheel chairs, the blind and other physically challenged. We are one of the institutions of government with the highest number of women in management,” the GMD stated.

Kyari said that contrary to false claims in some quarters, each geopolitical zone of the country is represented at the top management of NNPC, stressing that there is fair play in the Corporation’s appointments.

He said NNPC would continue to work towards achieving the government’s 35% affirmative action of women in public service.

He said NNPC would continue to comply with the rules and regulations of the Commission on recruitment.

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