UFOMBA UZUEGBU. Asst News Editor
Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has expressed dismay over the manner the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) discharges its statutory functions.
The association in a statement said: “We have noted with deep concern, the recent predatory activities of the current leadership of Consumer Protection Council (CPC), which could stifle the growth of existing businesses and scare off potential investors”.
“These activities are: duplication of regulatory roles: CPC performing roles already being carried out by other Agencies of Government; arrogant spurning of social dialogue by the CPC to resolve issues and the use of obnoxious regulations with all-encompassing powers to perpetrate unlawful activities in the name of Government.”
Talking on behalf of the Organised Private Sector, weekend in Lagos, the Director-General of NECA, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo said that: “The CPC has been acting ultra-vires and in spite of ongoing court action against the CPC, the body has continued to usurp the responsibilities of other agencies with the primary responsibilities to protect consumers in their sector.”
He equally deplored the sensationalism of CPC whereby in the name of dialogue it would always parade enterprises and engage in dialogue in the full glare of the media.
The Director General added: “We will not accept CPC’s gestapo approach at territory grappling and relevance seeking by performing roles already being carried out by other Agencies of Government such as National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).”
“The latest inordinate foray of the CPC is into the Electricity Sector, an action contrary to the provisions of the Electric Power Reform Act, 2005 that vested the regulation of operators in the sector on NERC, which has the primary responsibility to regulate and protect the interest of all stakeholders, including consumers, in that sector.
“Organised businesses are opposed to duplication of regulatory roles and as such, we do not subscribe to the CPC performing roles already being carried out by other Agencies of Government
“It is on record that the CPC has blatantly rebuffed every attempt by the Organised Private Sector through its representative bodies like NECA to engage it in social dialogue in order to explore ways of ensuring that it carries out its mandate in a civil and decent manner.”
Speaking further, the DG urged the government to call the council to order as it had become an embarrassment to the “New Nigeria” the administration is labouring to build, forbids impunity and arrogance of office holder.
NECA reiterates its commitment to social dialogue with CPC that will ensure the meaningful and productive realization of its purpose as outlined in the law setting it up.