The Lagos state government has warned manufacturers and service providers to desist from the tactical alteration of expiry date on products to deceive wholesalers and retailers.
This was disclosed recently by the General Manager, Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA), Mrs Kemi Olugbode, during the mediation meeting with officials from Mophet Pharmaceutical Company, Victoria Island, by the state government over the issue of altered expiry date on listerine and sensodine mouth-wash products.
She said that the era where rights of consumers are trampled upon with impunity by manufacturers and service providers without appropriate sanctioning or fines were over, noting that the state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has put effective machinery in place to ensure appropriate redress and compensation for consumers through LASCOPA.
Olugbode assured consumers that the Agency is ready and determined to protect their rights, irrespective of the state of origin, over any infringement and infraction from any manufacturer or service provider.
She noted that the State Consumer Protection Law of 2014 duly empowers the Agency to wade into any consumer case reported from any sector of the economy, adding that the state government is ready to champion the welfare of consumers through the assurance of justice and equity whenever their rights are trampled upon by unscrupulous manufacturers and service providers.
She warned manufacturers to desist from tactical alteration of expiry date on products to deceive wholesalers and retailers, adding that the Agency is expected to have offices in all the 52 Local Government Councils as well as Council Development Areas in the state, for effective performance and service delivery on behalf of the consumers, in accordance with the law.
According to her, over 500 cases have been handled by the Agency on behalf of consumers since its establishment in February 2018, through mediation, negotiation and prosecution where mediation fails at the Consumer Protection Court as well as Small Claims Court, established by the government in 2019 to try erring service provider and manufacturers.
She advised consumers not to take laws into their hands but rather visit the Agency online or come to the Agency’s office along Allen, in Ikeja, to seek redress.
She reminded manufacturers and service providers on the right way to treat consumers saying; “Government regards consumers as kings and must be treated as such, through quality and satisfactory services”.
She said that the Agency always embark on constant and sustained consumers education, monitoring and enforcement, scientific and investigative research into products and items complained about using the laboratories of collaborating State and Federal Agencies including Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) and the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography on Marine Research (NIOMR) on behalf of consumers.