By Benjamin Umuteme
The Consumer Protection Council (CPC), has warned manufacturers of consumables goods to desist from short-changing consumers or they should be prepared to face the wrath of the law.
Following recent discoveries of shortfalls in declared measures of some products in Nigerian markets, CPC undertook a quality checks on the manufacturers of the affected products.
The products of nine companies (names withheld), which included, candles, sweets, tissue papers, milk products, some over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and wheat meal products, were found to have fallen short of their declared weights/measures, while some have issues bordering on violations of Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS).
The examination carried out on the products of the nine reprimanded companies showed that the short-falls in the declared measures of the products vary from 10 to 70 per cent, a development, the Council found worrisome and referred to as high incidence of fraud.
CPC, examination further discovered that some of the products had no shelf life and manufacturing dates on them, while others did not have uniform shelf-life periods.
In a Statement by the CPC’s Head of Public Affairs, Mr. Abiodun Obimuyiwa, in a letter to the affected companies noted that it “will not hesitate to invoke its powers, as stipulated in its enabling Act, in dealing with this issue if you do not henceforth stop the production of non-compliant products”.
The Statement insisted that the companies’ actions is an abuse of consumers’ right to adequate information, an infringement on the right of consumers to make informed choice and a denial of consumers’ right to have value for their hard-earned money.
The inspection teams identified some of the causes of the shortfall as deliberate intent to short-change consumers
The Council earlier this year warned nine product manufacturers in the country over the shortfall in declared measures of their products, just as it expressed pleasure with four others for conforming to their products’ declared weights.
According to Mr. Obimyiwa, “CPC discovered that the manufacturer of Day Light candles attempted to play a decoy in order to thwart the inspection.”
Besides the fact that the manufacturer lied on phone that the factory stopped production four months ago whereas the factory’s neighbours claimed daily production was still taking place, it was also discovered that they have been producing packaged table water and Daylight soap in the same premises in a remote part of Ibadan,” the statement said.
CPC, as part of its proactive quality checks on products in Nigerian markets and in response to consumer complaints on the under-filling of products in Nigerian markets, purchased samples of some selected products in different markets for examination.