25 May 2012

Nigeria: Products Shortfall - CPC Warns Nine Manufacturers On Compliance

In line with its mandate, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has warned nine product manufacturers in the country over the shortfall in declared measures of their products.

The Council, on the other hand, also expressed satisfaction at the efforts of four other companies for conforming to their products' declared weights.

CPC, as part of its proactive quality checks on products in Nigerian markets and in response to consumer complaints on the under-filling of products in Nigerian markets, purchased samples of some selected products in different markets for examination.

The products of nine of the companies sampled (names withheld), which included, candles, sweets, tissue papers, milk products, some over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and wheat meal products, were found to have fallen short of their declared weights/measures, while some have issues bordering on violations of the Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS).

The examination carried out on the products of the nine reprimanded companies showed that the short-falls in the declared measures of the products varied from 10 to 70 per cent; a development the Council found worrisome and referred to as high incidence of fraud.

CPC, in its further examination of some of these products, discovered that some of them had no shelf-life and manufacturing dates on them, while others did not have uniform shelf-life periods.

The Council, while warning the affected manufacturers to desist from short-changing consumers, described the companies' actions as an abuse of consumers' right to adequate information, an infringement on the right of consumers to make informed choice, and a denial of consumers' right to have value for their hard-earned money.

The organisation cautioned the companies in its letter that it would not hesitate to invoke its powers, as stipulated in its enabling Act, in dealing with the issue if they do not henceforth stop the production of non-compliant products.

From the same exercise, the Council found products of four companies worthy in terms of their declared weights, claiming that "this unarguably serves positively the interest of the consumers".

The companies that got CPC's commendation included Friesland Campina Wamco Nigeria Plc for Peak Milk; PZ Cussons for Nunu Milk; Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc for Golden Penny Semovita; and Procter and Gamble Nigeria Ltd for Vicks Blue.

CPC, drawing an inference from the results of the examination, advised consumers to cross-check where possible the quantity of the products they are buying with the declared value, stressing that any under measure noticed should be reported to it.

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