WHO IS A CONSUMER?
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2018 (FCCPA) defines a consumer as any person who purchases or offers to buy goods different from the purpose of resale, but does not include a person who purchases any goods for the purpose of using them in the production or manufacture of any other goods or articles for sale.
The Act further states that a consumer includes a person to whom a service is rendered. In other words, a consumer is someone who not only purchases goods but also makes use of the goods purchased. Therefore, a consumer can also be a producer because the materials being purchased are to be used for production. The key thing to note here is that the products or goods bought are going to be made use of.
MEANING OF CONSUMER PROTECTION
Monye defines consumer protection as the act of securing the interests of the consumer in situations concerning the supply of goods and services, fake and harmful practices as well as environmental degradation. It is the furnishing of suitable methods to guard the safety of all individuals against harmful, degraded, and fake business practices.
MEANING OF CONSUMABLES
These refer to consumer goods utilised for everyday living. They are goods produced/developed for the sole purpose of being used. Whilst some of the goods are durable, the others are non-durable. It is durable when it can be used several times over and non-durable when used just once.
With this in mind, it is evident that the word consumables is quite broad. It is not limited to what is put in the mouth, hence, it covers electricity, information, utensils, building materials, clothing, makeup, vehicles, etc.
LAWS GUIDING THE INTERESTS OF CONSUMERS AS WELL AS GOODS AND SERVICES IN NIGERIA
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2018, is the apex and primary law provided to protect the interests and rights of consumers in Nigeria. The FCCPA established the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission otherwise known as the ‘Commission’. The role of the Commission (FCCPC) includes but is not restricted to the following:
- Protect and promote the interests and welfare of consumers by providing consumers with a wider variety of standard products at competitive prices.
- Prohibit restrictive or unjust business practices which prevent, restrict or distort competition or constitute an abuse of a dominant position of market power in Nigeria.