Unethical business practices and ineffective regulation are a daunting combination for consumers, writes Jonathan Ugiagbe, 30, a Correspondent from Benin in Nigeria, who argues it is time for an effective consumers coalition.
Consumers in Nigeria form a critical mass of the world consumer constituency. Yet this critical mass is today in danger and disrespected because of deceitful business entities and inefficient government regulatory agencies.
Nigerian consumers have suffered abuses because they have existed as uncoordinated people and without recognised leadership. Some consumers have become victims of corrupt businesspeople, and their voices are calling on the conscience of all consumers to stand up and defend their rights, for that alone is the “master key” to the door that will lead to consumer safety.
The record is clear that Nigerian consumers are casualties of fraudulent business practices and government inefficiency in designing and implementing effective consumer-oriented protection policies.
For their part, Nigerian consumers have demonstrated high levels of apathy on issues relating to consumer protection, yet they have the resilience to survive and confront consumer injustice with each other.
Nigerian consumers must strive for freedom from abuse now, and they cannot achieve this by compromising their rights or playing possum. They must effectively engage both business and government, standing in unison, until they achieve efficient consumer protection.
It will be delusional on the part of consumers to think that building this kind of alliance is going to be easy. In this regard, therefore, advocates of consumer rights protection in this country must ensure that the philosophy of sustainable consumerism is espoused everywhere consumers find themselves.
One of the things that will reverse consumer exploitation and bring succour and justice to Nigerian consumers is effective coordination and leadership of a consumer rights movement.
The leadership must provide the people with the right vision, recognise the problems of consumers, and know how to deal with them. It must also be strictly accountable to the people.
Nigerian consumers must bring back civility and justice to the marketplace. Through this effective leadership, Nigeria consumers can become enlightened, and create opportunity for the achievement of consumer justice.
These brave hearts must always show great faith and exhibit respect for every consumer, worker and marginalised group. This is essential, as they will be engaging the powerful business interests with their armada of wealth as well as the powerful government. Their activities must all be transparent, up front and in public view.
Their dedication to the consumer movement must be complete, total and unquestionable. The leadership of the movement to extricate Nigerian consumers from the manacles of dishonest business and ineffective government regulatory agencies must have the confidence of all the people to engage business and government in this struggle for consumer emancipation.
The leadership of a consumer movement in Nigeria must make room and create opportunity for all categories of consumers, workers and marginalised groups to be part of the peaceful civil mass movement , and create opportunity for all categories of workers to achieve legitimate workers’ rights, liveable wages and adequate compensation for work-related injuries and abuses.
They must create opportunity for the people of the Niger delta to finally have a fair chance to develop their great resources and to preserve their people and their culture.
The consumer movement in Nigeria must make a room and create opportunity for all groups: from the the physically and mentally challenged, to the vulnerable who are at risk because of the failures of corporate, industrial, and economic policies.
Yes, the leadership of consumer movement in Nigeria must create opportunity for all consumers, workers and marginalised groups to organise themselves into a formidable coalition.
Reach me on Twitter @jonathanugiagbe
About me: I am an easy-going person who takes people for who they are regardless. I like reading, travelling and table tennis.
My objective is to work with existing staff and facilities, contributing the best of my ability and quota so as to improve organisational objectives and achieve management goals and targets. Currently, am a blogger and a web designer.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/
Powered by Facebook Comments