Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna
the Consumer Protection Council has said it will collaborate with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria to ensure that fake and adulterated goods are stamped out of the country.
The Director-General, CPC, Babatunde Irukera, stated that a legislation that would impose stiffer penalties on sellers of fake and manufacturers of adulterated products was in the offing.
Irukera spoke with journalists after he paid courtesy call on the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House in Kaduna, the state capital.
Irukera stated, “Just last week, I had a meeting with the DG NAFDAC. One of the subjects of our meeting was that there should be a state of emergency in the food and drug sector.
“We are working very hard to provide a strong support and advocacy for the legislation to see the light of the day.”
According to him, if eventually the legislation scales through, it will provide stiffer penalties for people who sell and manufacture fake and adulterated products.
He added that beyond the legislation, the council was working on creating collaboration between the regulators like SON, NAFDAC and the CPC.
“I am sure in the coming weeks, there will be a joint enforcement initiative,” he said.
Earlier, during a courtesy call on el-Rufai, the DG explained that the purpose of the visit was to brief the governor about the quality assurance campaign, which the CPC was embarking upon in collaboration with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation.
He said Kaduna was the second state his team was visiting because of its population, size and strategic importance to the campaign.
According to the DG, the campaign is about educating the public not to be complacent about the goods and services at their disposal, as the people have the right to demand and insist on quality.
Responding, el-Rufai contended that the rights of the consumers were not adequately being protected and described the campaign as apt.
He said, “To me, when you are talking about consumer protection, I used to think it is all about good products and services. My mind didn’t go to education. I don’t think today consumers in the country are adequately protected in terms of the products they use and the services being rendered.
“If we take the area of goods being floated in our markets or the building industry, there is much to be desired. Today, poor products are everywhere. We have witnessed the collapse of buildings occasioned by substandard materials.”
Represented by his deputy, Mr. Barnabas Yusuf Bala, the governor stated that substandard materials and services abound everywhere, adding that the state was ready to support the council to achieve its objective.
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