Lagos State Assembly has begun repealing the State’s Consumer Protection Agency Law to eliminate substandard and hazardous products in the market.
The amendment bill had scaled second reading and committed to the House Committee on Commerce and Industry to report to the House in two weeks.
Presenting a bill to establish Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency, the Chairman House Committee On Commerce and Industry, Chief Bisi Yusuff, said the law should not only be reviewed but repealed and re-enacted.
“Today in Nigeria especially in Lagos, there are hazardous products prevalent and so many people are falling victims of these sub-standard products. The implementation of the existing law needs to be seriously addressed”, said Yusuff.
Citing an example, the Chairman said, “What we call soft drinks today if they are subjected to laboratory test, 95 percent of the contents are sugar. The implication is that we consume so much sugar which leads to diabetes and is going on because nobody takes them to court.”
In his contributions, Mr Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2) described the bill as a people’s bill whose intention was to protect the interest of teeming Lagosians that have had horrible customer experience from service providers like Telecommunications.
” We have Agency and body that arrest culprit but victims are left out. This amendment has created more robust fine and penalties against offenders”, he added.
In his submission, Mr Femi Saheed (Kosofe 2) said that if the bill were passed into law, it would help the State’s economy and create employment in the technological industry.
The Majority Leader, Mr Sanai Agunbiade (Ikorodu 1), said the extant law had stayed overtime, saying there was a need to repeal and re-enact it to block some loopholes exploited by operators of the law.
According to him, the bill will give value for products bought or services paid for by consumers. It is a balanced procedure for both consumers and producers of products. The bill, if passed into law, will empower the Agency more in achieving its stated mandate.
Also, the Deputy Speaker, Mr Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, said that the bill would give room for social media engagement between the Agency and the general public to enhance quick responses to their complaints.
“This is what is obtainable at the federal consumer protection agency. We can replicate same in Lagos and this will make the public to have confidence in the state agency”, he said.
Mr Lukman Olumoh (Ajeromi Ifelodun 1) maintained that the bill would enhance consumer confidence, adding, “I will suggest that offenders of the law should be well furnished. General Manager (GM) position should not be limited to a legal practitioner or State Counsel.
“The enforcement offices should be sited across the state and not be restricted to one place as it is right now”, he added.
After the deliberation by the lawmakers, the Speaker of the House, Chief Mudashiru Obasa, committed the bill to the Committee on Commerce and Industry and said that it should report back in two weeks.