…. Sanwo-Olu calls for fair competition

By Martin Ekpeke

QNET, a renowned global entity in the lifestyle and wellness direct-selling sector has insisted on the rights and protection of the consumer, stressing that such rights are enshrined in the importance of education and awareness.

Speaking at this year’s Consumer Rights Day conference, organized by the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) to spearhead a pivotal movement in consumer rights awareness and empowerment, Mr. Biram Fall, QNET’s Regional Manager for sub-Saharan Africa, noted that in this technological age where it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the real from the fake, the right to be protected from unfair business practices must be in the hands of the consumers.

“At QNET, we believe that in this technological age where it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the real from the fake, the right to be protected from unfair business practices, with access to safe, quality goods and services must be given to the consumers,” Mr. Biram, who was represented at the conference with the theme “Fair and Responsible AI for Consumers said.

He added that QNET is deeply committed to protecting the rights of its customers and promoting a culture of transparency, integrity and trust.

He also argued at the conference held in Eko Hotel that for such rights to be in the hands of the consumers, the governments, businesses and stakeholders must work together to promote consumer rights and address consumer concerns globally.

Consumer rights

  • Consumer rights ensure that individuals are protected from exploitation and fraud; they have the right to safety, information, choice, and redress if they encounter issues with products or services.
  • These rights form the cornerstone of fair and ethical business practices and are essential for fostering trust between consumers and businesses anywhere in the world.
  • Consumer education is a powerful tool that equips individuals with the knowledge to protect themselves from fraudulent trade practices and exploitative market behaviours.

Why education and awareness of consumer rights

  • Through education, consumers gain the knowledge they need to make informed decisions and protect themselves from exploitation and demand accountability.
  • Empowered consumers safeguard their interests and contribute to a more transparent and competitive marketplace that benefits society as a whole. This significantly strengthens consumer protection laws by enabling consumers to make informed purchase decisions.
  • Educated consumers are also better equipped to identify fraudulent or deceptive practices, report violations of their rights, and advocate for policies that safeguard their interests.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Governor, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu while speaking at the conference has assured stakeholders that his administration would continue to create an enabling environment that promotes fair competition, protects consumer rights and supports the development of small and medium-sized enterprises.

The governor said the assurance becomes necessary to create mutual understanding between consumers and producers, which underscores the symbiotic and interdependent relationship that exists between the two entities within any economy.

“Consumers and producers are not adversaries but rather partners in a complex economic ecosystem. While consumers rely on producers to supply goods and services, producers, in turn, depend on consumer demand to drive their businesses forward,” he said.

Thus, he urged consumers and producers to foster an enduring partnership, rather than relationships that could impede sustainable growth and development in the economic value chain.

World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated annually on March 15. The annual event is used to draw attention to the plight of consumers the world over and to ensure the rights of consumers are not only protected but also promoted.

Also, earlier in his welcome address, Mr Afolabi Solebo, General Manager LASCOPA, said that developers and companies must prioritize ethical considerations in ensuring that AI benefits society as a whole.

He noted that responsible AI involved transparency and accountability.

According to him, consumers deserve to know how their data is being used and have the right to understand the decisions made by AI systems.

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