The Nigerian Society is a fledgling one as it pertains to Consumer Rights. In this regard, there happen to be a lot of laxity from goods sellers and service providers.
Now is the time for consumer rights advocacy to stop the fleecing of our citizens and to make sure utility providers and sellers go by the books!
This is a call for the consolidation of Consumer Right Laws and Legal Regimes to stem this tide.
The following are amazing rights that avail you as a consumer:
- You can replace/return and get fixed for free goods that have warranty when damaged provided the damage falls within the time of the warranty.
- If your flight, local or international is cancelled, you are entitled to accommodation and food vouchers if there is clear evidence that you have no place to go. You have to be vehement and insistent in your claim,as you can not be given these on a platter of gold .
- If your flight, local or international is cancelled, you are entitled to over a thousand US dollars depending on your losses.You need legal force to get this .
- If you missed your flight and the airline is flying the next day, you have priority over other passengers for the next day.
All of these are standard ICAO Regulations ,but you might need legal fireworks to push your rights .
- The Eletricity Distribution Company can not disconnect your Electricity except you have been issued a 30 Day Disconnection Notice, (Standard NERC Regulations).
- When there is a dispute between the Electricity Distribution Company and a Consumer, the Consumer can not be disconnected ,until the dispute is dispensed with .
- It is a criminal offence for an Electricity Company to charge a consumer by estimated billing.
The Consumer can actually arrest any of their Officials for this Infraction.There is an Act of the National Assembly that criminalises estimated billing .
- A consumer is within his/her rights to arrest and prosecute any Official of the Electricity Distribution Company that attempts or does an illegal disconnection of Electricity.There are provisions in the Criminal and Penal Codes that suffice for this purpose .
- Taking of a loan is a commercial and civil transaction. Except there are criminal elements involved, the Police or the EFCC do not have any jurisdiction over commercial transactions. Neither the Police nor the EFCC are debt collectors . There are a plethora of decisions and proceedings of the Supreme Court on this matter.
- If you issued a post dated cheque and the time to present the cheque is close and the account is not funded due to delayed payment from your expected creditors , quickly write a letter to the Payee and your bank or simply text them not to present and honour the cheque respectively and you will not be liable for issuance of dud cheque,which is a crime in Nigeria.But if you did this incessantly it will be a criminal pattern,for which you can be prosecuted .(Banking and Other Financial Institutions Act:-BOFIA.)
(Copy Right )
All Rights Reserved .
Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.