From: Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
The Director General of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Babatunde Irukera, has charged businesses to understand the signs of times and embrace the new order of prioritising consumer protection as the pre-eminent factor in protecting brand.
Irukera, who made this known at a meeting with members of the Association of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employers (AFTBE) at the weekend, also said that the customer service cannot be ancillary to business, especially in the food and beverage industry, but the core of business operations.
The CPC boss argued that consumer protection was more important than Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), noting that CSR is sometimes viewed with “suspicion and characterized as self-serving in part because the companies have not truly satisfied their customers”.
The DG maintained that “nothing repairs or maintains reputation and eliminates distrust better than fairness to customers and satisfaction in the products they purchase or consume”.
He emphasized the uniformity of CPC’s objective with companies in the association which is to please consumers and this, he said, made the case for industry and CPC collaboration, noting that, “when customer service is at its best, consumers are truly happy, spending is up, economic indicators are encouraging, my job is done, your performance is assured, and your brands endure”. Earlier, the Group Managing Director of Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, Mr. Paul Gbededo, described AFBTE as a group of industries that have daily encounters with Nigerian consumers.
Gbededo said members of the association are eager to collaborate with the Council and happy to be regulated by the government agency, adding that “we are conscious that if consumers are not happy with us, our businesses will not go well”.
According to him, partnership between the association and the Council will be for the good of the country and the numerous consumers of their various products.