The new Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) Act 2019, and implications for the air travel industry, will take the centre stage of discussions when aviation stakeholders meet in Lagos on Tuesday, March 26.
The forum, an initiative of Starklegal law firm, aims to create awareness, interactions and resolutions around the provisions of the FCCPC Act.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari in February signed the FCCPC bill into law, to override the erstwhile Consumer Protection Council, and superintend all consumer rights’ issues in the country.
The FCCPC Act states that the Commission has jurisdiction over every consumer issue in Nigeria, even where there is industry specific regulator.
While many stakeholders are still unaware of the new Act, its implications are far reaching for more technical sub-sectors like aviation – already governed by specific rules and conventions.
Managing partner at Starklegal, Mojisola Olugbemi, told reporters that their years of dealing with airlines and regulators had shown that consumer protection remains “a very thorny issue” in the Nigerian aviation community, with both regulators and operators often misunderstanding one another.
Olugbemi added that by the provisions of FCCPC, it means that aviation, which has regulators like the Consumer Directorate of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has to be subjected to the FCCPC, which is a foundation for serious problems in the industry.
“The FCCPC has overtaken the CPC and it has very expansive powers and huge sanctions too. That is why we are taking it upon ourselves to sensitise everyone, and create a forum that sits the regulator with the operators to discuss the matter and resolved the issues,” she said.
The Stark Illuminate 1.0 event, with the theme: “Consumer Protection in the aviation industry: Trends and developments, holds at Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos.
Among the stakeholders expected are the NCAA, FCCPC, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and airlines’ operators, among others.