The Legal Enforcement Department of The Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (GCCPC), Tuesday briefed the media on the consumer protection mechanisms and enforcement procedures.
The briefing targets to create awareness among the general consumers on the mechanisms created by law to redress the consumer right abuses. The legal and enforcement department was created in October 2019 with a mandate to create consumer rights and protection awareness through advocacy.
Ma Nyima Bojang, director of the Legal Enforcement Dept., said creating consumer awareness through advocacy would help in redressing the consumer rights abuses.
"Consumers should not be fooled by the hoax that when a good is bought after 24 hours or used cannot be returned. This is not true and it is not in line with the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2014," she said.
She urged that consumers should always put their complaints to the commission ranging from false or abusive advertisement, defective goods and unfair trade practices. She said that all complaints that passed through the commission are vetted and investigated to see if the rights of the consumers are violated.
"Where the commission conducts investigation on consumer claim (s) and found that there were gross consumer right violations which may have had adverse effect on the consumer, the commission will produce a written report of the issues and transfer the claim to the attorney general's chambers for prosecution."
Amadou Ceesay, executive secretary of GCCPC, said the strategic objective of the commission is to protect and promote consumer welfare and to ensure the availability and affordability of essential commodities in the country.
He said expanding and strengthening awareness of competition and consumer protection in the market which is in line with section 15 (j) of the 2007 Competition Act, is a mandate of the GCCPC.
"We want to advocate and raise the awareness of the public on the work of the commission and to curb anti-competitive practices to promote competition in all sectors of the economy."
The Consumer Protection Act was established April 2014 to protect consumers from unfair and misleading market conducts and to provide for the establishment of consumer tribunal. The act provides protection to consumers through variety of measures by ensuring compliance with consumer regulations and legislations amongst others.