By Henry Onu, Aba
The Chairman of Abia State Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mr. Ukadike Ogbuagu has expressed the commitment of the council to rid the state of fake and adulterated products.
Ogbuagu in a chat with Peoples Times in Aba acknowledged the circulation of unwholesome products in the city but stated the the council is poised to rid the the state, especially Aba of such products.
His words:” One of the cardinal functions of the Consumers Protection Council (CPC) is to seek ways and means of removing or eliminating from the market hazardous products and causing offenders to replace such products with safer and more appropriate alternatives. We are 100 percent to carry this function, among other functions to the fullest.
“ We have carried out some raids in the markets of Aba and recovered some unwholesome products such as Fumbact A, Laside, Alcopar, and Pyramtrin. Others are alcoholic beverages such as Black label, Red label, Hennessey, Macdowell, among others.
According to Investigations by Peoples Times, dealers of these unwholesome products engage in high profile manipulations to introduce these products to the market. One of such means is the importation of the bottles, labels, corks, and packets of the original products. Thereafter, the bottles are filled with fake liquid content to the detriment of the unsuspecting consumers.
Besides, the dealers go a step further by erasing the expiry dates inscribed on the packets of these products and replacing with a new one. The CPC Chairman further warned Abia consumers to be wary of the products they consume, especially sausage roll (popularly known as gala).
He said that the council is also mounting an intensive enlightenment programme on consumers rights. “Such rights include Right to Redress, which guarantees a consumer who is dissatisfied with a product or service the right to redress. This can be either a refund of money paid, repair or replacement of the product; Right to safety: This right guarantees every right to safe products and services fit for their intended use and purpose; Right to information: This right guarantees every consumer the right to all necessary information about a product, service to be consumed. This information should include the content of the product, labelling standards, ingredients, prescribed usage, and best before date.
“Others are Right to Consumer Education: This is the right of consumers to be educated about their rights; Right to Choose: This is the right of consumers to be able to select freely from a range of products and services.
“The enlightenment campaign will extend to other areas such as “Consumers’ Rights to Healthy Foods”.This area will afford consumers right to nutritional information, safe and healthy foods. These campaigns would be anchored on “ Stay off junk food; Too much fat can lead to obesity and heart diseases; Too much sugar can make diabetic; and Too much salt can lead to high pressure and other diseases, among others.
“Abia CPC is making sure that the era when customers are short-changed at filling stations is over. The council is mobilising at large scale to ensure that “Consumer Clubs” are inaugurated at both primary and post- primary schools in the state. The essence of this is to ensure that the Abia children are inculcated with the right consumer value orientation at tender ages. It is mounting efforts on top gear to ensure that rice and cement are no longer re- bagged, while ensuring that meat is processed in topmost healthy manners for human consumption, especially the process of convening the meat from the slaughter to the market,” Ogbuagu maintained.