Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) over the weekend identified with the Federal Government’s recent increase in excise duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, stressing that it will serve as a measure to reduce the risks of abuse and disease.
The council also applauded the Buhari administration’s consideration for consumers in “granting a 90-day moratorium and periodic incremental adjustments to ensure appropriate balance between personal consumer choices and public interest.”
The council’s Director General, Babatunde Irukera, who made these assertions in a statement issued in Abuja, commended “President Muhammadu Buhari for his strong leadership in addressing this vital consumer issue in a manner that is consistent with prevailing global practices.”
Irukera stated that though “CPC protects the rights of all consumers and their prerogative to make personal lifestyle choices,” it, however, “encourages responsible consumption in all circumstances, particularly of products that may potentially have adverse effects or possibly modify behaviour in a fashion that may be harmful or inconvenient to the consumer or others.
“The council notes that this policy was the product of consensus pursuant to broad stakeholder engagement and is motivated in part by the Federal Government’s desire to reduce the risks of abuse and disease that may be associated with consumption of these products,” he submitted.
According to him, the Federal Government’s approach would foster consumer confidence, provide regulatory clarity and prioritise safety, all of which, he said, reinforce the mandate of the council.
The director general added: “The council insists that all producers, particularly of the products subject of this revised excise duty, must take appropriate steps, including full disclosures, to promote responsible consumption, responsive, transparent and accessible consumer complaint resolution mechanisms to protect and satisfy consumers.”