Consumer education contributes to economic development – Aganga

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ABUJA – The Minister Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, said consumer education was an important tool contributing to nation building and economic development.

Aganga said this at the Inauguration of an In-House Audio Visual Studio for the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) on Thursday in Abuja.

He commended efforts by the management and staff of the council to realise the studio project, saying that it would help increase consumer awareness.

Aganga said it was gratifying that the current administration of CPC had risen determination to drastically increase the level of consumer awareness and reduce impunity in country

“ Consumers make better decisions when educated and they are also better able to contribute to nation building and economic development.

“ Given the commitment of the management of the council, I am optimistic that the studio will serve the purpose of awakening consciousness of consumers and bringing up positive behavioural change in the Nigeria place.

“Apparently, it will not only impact on individual consumer but also develop the economy,’’ he said.

The Director-General of CPC, Mrs Dupe Atoki, said the council was now better positioned on a sustainable pedestal to deliver on consumer education advocacy and sensitisation campaign.

She explained that consumer education was a core mandate and a deliverable of consumer protection and the studio would help the council achieve that purpose.
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Atoki noted that a baseline survey on consumer rights awareness in Nigeria, conducted two years ago, reviewed that consumers were largely unaware of their rights.

She said the survey led to the decision of an aggressive consumer rights education and advocacy campaign in the country.

“An informed consumer is the best protector of his rights; he is proactive, assertive and confident to demand redress for any violations.

“Conversely, consumer ignorance and apathy contribute to poor service delivery, substandard production and impunity among businesses,’’ she said.

Atoki said the council would commence a weekly television programme tagged“ Consumer is king’’ in July and it would be broadcast nationwide.

The director-general said the media platform, developed to address the low consumer awareness, was expensive and the studio would reduce the cost by 60 per cent.

She expressed gratitude to the Ford Foundation for its support to accomplish the project as the council depended on government funds which were grossly insufficient.

“The Ford Foundation support, which is premised on sustainability, also made provision for the training of selected staff of the council drawn from the Head Office, Liaison office in Lagos and the six zonal offices.

“The selected staff have been trained on camera handling, editing, production and management of the studio.

The Chairman of the council, retired Air Commodore Ishaku Mwadkon, said the importance of the studio could not be over emphasised.

He urged the management and staff of the council to ensure utilisation of the studio to its full potentials.

Also the representative of the Ford Foundation, Ms Padma Ugbabe, expressed pleasure at the decision of the council to embark of the construction of a studio.

“ The Nigerian consumer had often been handed the short end of the stick as many organisations in Nigeria have a goal of making profit from business at consumer’s expense.

She expressed optimism that the CPC would leave up to its mission of protecting and enhancing consumer interest.(NAN)
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