The General Manager, Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency, LASCOPA, Mr. Afolabi Solebi, has reiterated that the Agency’s commitment to protection of the interests of consumers in the state, against harzadous products, remains total and unshaken.
He reinstated that his Agency is equally ensuring education of consumers across Lagos, for them to be able to ascertain whenever their rights have been infringed upon by producers in any way whatsoever. He stressed that the Agency is putting measures in place, to ensure this is achieved I’m earnest.
The LASCOPA GM equally stated that consumers should be courageous enough to come forward to the Agency, to make complaints anytime they felt there was an anomaly regarding any product they come across, addi g that the Agency would always be in the side of the consumers.
Afolabi, who stated this during an exclusive interview, added that the Agency’s priority is to guard citizens against harmful products and ensure their satisfaction. He, therefore, clarified the need for consumers to be properly educated on identifying hazardous materials.
While speaking on LASCOPA’s aim in ensuring safety in the purchase of goods, he stressed, “our mission is to ensure consumers the safety of consumers rights, which is very important and the main purpose of which the office was established and to protect citizens against substandard products that are mostly everywhere in the state.
“There are times consumers get some products, even with a warrantee tag attached, and in a twinkle of an eye, the product stops working and all you get from the marketer is a repair/refix, but when such issue is reported here in our office by the consumer, we make sure there is a replacement of such Products.”
Relating to the dissatisfaction of services customers sometimes get from one another, he said the Agency makes sure there is a proper follow-up and settlement during issues of such occurrence.
“There was this issue that transpired sometime ago between a Courier Service and a Lady. Someone sent some gadgets from abroad (phones and some other gadgets) and it wasn’t rightly delivered and the lady came to our office to report the issue and before then, she had already locked up the dispatch rider in Police custody.
“We stepped in the case and invited the dispatch company and the lady over to our office and I decide to go into Mediation. I took my time to enlighten the company on how dangerous it is for their image to be dented, together with our Lawyer, we gave them some time to replace the phones and the gadget, which they did at the appointed time.
“They bought new phones worth N900,000 and gave to the lady, with an undertaking signed by both parties.
“That is one of the benefits of the Protection Agency, but if consumers don’t come to us to lodge a complaint, there is no way we would get to take any steps, and thorough plans have been set for us to go all out to educate consumers about their Rights”
Afolabi further explained that LASCOPA’s mandate is to enlighten the general public on the rights for consumers to be informed about the standard price of goods and services, in order to protect the consumer against unfair trade practices.
“Our mandate is also to give a consumer rights to seek redress in court, like the case I cited earlier, peradventure they decide to go to court, we’re always ready, as we have our own lawyers and are ready to stand for consumers who feel and have confirmed that their rights have been infringed upon. Our services are totally free,” he added.
Speaking on consumers’ rights to approach the Agency, he said that citizens can always be free and buoyant to walk up to the office, to make a complaint when their rights have been infringed upon. He added that this is feasible, only if they’re well-grounded on the knowledge of their rights.