Consumer Rights Day: Experts advise on digital training for personal protection
By Tunji Faleye
Consumers across the country have been advised to make conscious and consistent efforts to understand the power of digital platform for their personal protection.
Speaking at the Consumer Rights Day, organised by Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN) recently, experts said, it has become highly imperative for consumers to embark on digital training in the face of huge, relentless and highly sophisticated onslaught from the digital world.
In his remark, Goddie Ofose, Chairman, BJAN, thanked all guests for honouring the association’s invitation, saying that the most important questions now are: How to establish access to the internet for the many consumers who are not connected? How to improve the quality of services? Which online services and products consumers can trust and what happens to the data they share online?
Presenting his paper, David Okeme, Chief Marketing Officer, Systemspecs/Remita, who was the lead speaker on the occasion, said the world of digital is so sophisticated that consumers must also be informed because “a lot of fraud is happening as a result of digital age.”
Okeme added that despite the fact that there are no legal protections against encroachment of consumers rights in Nigeria, consumers have to take every measure of protection.
He urged government, regulatory agencies, organisations to develop a regulatory framework that will aid consumers protection in the digital space.
Similarly, Kayode Oluwasona, President, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) said consumers need to be taught how to use digital and understand digital in order to be relevant in digital age, adding that AAAN is a responsible association that is self regulatory protecting the interest of the consumers.
According to Kayode Olagesin, Managing Director, Town Crier, “the responsibility primarily falls on the consumers to protect themselves against any digital fraud or other forms of abuse.”
All the experts agreed that adequate legislation and enforcement frameworks should be put in place to protect consumers from abuse in the cyberspace.
They said that all stakeholders’ must unite, agree and establish a code of behaviours and standards that will guide all major activities in the cyberspace.
They added that instead of focusing on individuals championing consumer protectionism, institutions and systemic processes were advocated if consumer rights are to be entrenched and sustained.
Notable practitioners and experts at the symposium include Alhaji Bello Kankarofi, Registrar/CEO of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), David Okeme, CMO, Systemspecs/Remita, Kayode Olagesin MD, Towncrier and Kayode Oluwasona, President AAAN, while Sola Salako, President and Founder, Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria CAFTON) was the moderator.