CONSUMER RIGHTS: COME 2023, ‘PEOPLE WILL BEGIN TO GET JAIL TERMS IF…’ – LASCOPA GM, AFOLABI SOLEBO • Restates Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s zero tolerance for breach of rights
By Oki Samson, Trek Africa Newspaper
L-R: Publisher, Trek Africa Newspaper, Oki Samson; Human Right Lawyer, Barr. Evans Ufeli; General Manager, Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency, LASCOPA, Mr. Afolabi Solebo and Chief Operating Officer, BuyLetLive Company, Modupe Agbolahan during the presentation of Trek Africa Public Service Leadership Personality Award to Mr. Afolabi Solebo at the 9th edition of Trek Africa National Discourse and Honours TAND2022 held at Elomaz hotel, Maryland, Lagos.
The General Manager, Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA), Mr. Afolabi Solebo has hinted that individuals who infringe consumer rights in Lagos will begin to get jail terms if they don’t desist. This is coming as a new move to ensure that consumers in Lagos get redress for their complaints of unpleasant service delivery.
Prior to this development, the agency founded in 2015 had only used fine as a means of punishment and deterrent.
The GM, Mr. Solebo sounded this note of warning during his speech at the just-concluded 9th edition of Trek Africa National Discourse and Honours 2022.
General Manager, Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA), Mr. Afolabi Solebo
‘From next year, we would move from fines alone, people will begin to get jail terms of 3 months or N500,000 for first offender, 6 months or N750,000 for second offender so if you know anybody who wants to kill Lagosians, tell them. You are not supposed to sell expired products or about to expire products, you put it off the shelf. But they do promo, they want you to come and buy death at reduced price. It is illogical, nonsensical and not only can it cause health issues, it can lead to death. These issues can be avoided. It is December period when many people go to markets and supermarkets to buy goods and I know most people won’t check product information especially consummables. You should check NAFDAC no, date of manufacture, date of expiry, and be sure to obtain a receipt once you are leaving that grocery store. We got a refund from about 8-9 supermarkets.’
Speaking further on the successes of the consumer rights, the Ikorodu-born leader shared: ‘LASCOPA is an agency established in 2015. The agency was formerly a unit under the Ministry of Justice but now it is an agency under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Cooperatives. The vision of the agency is to ensure that consumers in the state get value and satisfaction for their money. If you are not getting value for services, the best place to come is LASCOPA. We deal in any consumer-related issues – automobiles, electricity, banks, etc.’
‘We have recovered over N20m from banks. Every month, EKEDC, IKEDC sit in our office at Allen avenue. From IKEDC alone, we have recovered N25m for consumers in credit adjustment, from EKEDC we have recovered over N7m. Products that are still under warranty but is not working well, you have the right in as much as you have the responsibility to do your part. We had issues of a car still under warranty with a very popular automobile company. We told them it is either they replace or refund. By the time we worked on it, we got a refund of over N20m for the complainant.
Mr. Afolabi Solebo pointed out in the conference themed ‘Naira on Free Fall: The Politics, The Policies, The Way Forward’ that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is committed to the full protection of consumer’s rights.
‘In line with Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda, people should respect consumer rights. No matter what consumers will be protected in Lagos. Please communicate with us on social media. Our office is in Ikeja but we have been able, in the last 2 years, to establish offices in Badagry, Ikoyi/Obalende, Bariga LCDA, Ojo LGA, Ikorodu LGA and we are setting up soon in Computer Village, Ikeja. If you see any issue even if you are not directly involved, report at the closest LASCOPA office. The breach of consumer right in Lagos is over.’
‘Mr. Governor has zero tolerance for breach of consumer rights no matter who is involved. Come to Lagos to do your business but do not come to Lagos to sell substandard, expired or hazardous products. It will not be tolerated.’