1.1 What legislation, regulations and guidelines are relevant to consumer protection in your jurisdiction?
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018 ("FCCPA") is the primary legislation which governs and protects the rights of consumers in Nigeria. The FCCPA established the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission ("FCCPC" or "Commission") to, amongst others:
(a) protect and promote consumers' interest and welfare by providing consumers with a wider variety of quality products at competitive prices; and
(b) prohibit restrictive or unfair business practices which prevent, restrict or distort competition or constitute an abuse of a dominant position of market power in Nigeria.
Prior to the enactment of the FCCPA, the principal legislation that protected the rights of consumers in Nigeria was the Consumer Protection Council Act, 2004 ("CPA") which established the Consumer Protection Council ("CPC"); however, the FCCPA repealed the CPA and the FCCPC assumed all rights, interests, obligations, assets, and liabilities of the CPC.
To aid the FCCPC in discharging its functions and duties, the FCCPA empowers the FCCPC in section 163 to make rules and regulations for the effective implementation and operation of the provisions of the FCCPA. The provisions of the FCCPA further stipulate that any regulation, order, bye-law or notice that was issued by, or for the purpose of, the CPC under the CPC Act shall be deemed to have been made or issued by, or for the purpose of, the FCCPC and shall continue in force until revoked or amended by the FCCPC. Thus, in addition to the provisions of the FCCPA, there are: (i) the FCCPC (Sales Promotion) Registration Regulations, 2005; (ii) the FCCPC Guidelines for Sales Promotion Registration; and (iii) the FCCPC Business Guidance Relating to COVID-19 on Business Co-Operation/ Collaboration and Certain Consumer Rights Under the FCCPA, 2020 ("Business Guidance"). Further, the FCCPC adopted the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Consumption proposed at the annual World Consumer Day of 2020 ("Sustainable Consumption Principle").
Please refer to the answer to question 1.5 for other legislation, regulations and guidelines that are relevant to consumer protection in Nigeria.
1.2 What is the definition of "consumer" (i.e., who does consumer protection law protect)?
The FCCPA defines a consumer in section 167(1) to include any person:
(a) who purchases or offers to purchase goods other than for the purpose of resale, but does not include a person who purchases any goods for the purpose of using them in the production or manufacture of any other goods or articles for sale; or
(b) to whom a service is rendered.
1.3 Who is/which entities are required to comply with consumer protection law?
The FCCPA applies to and binds all undertakings (that is, any person involved in the production of or the trade in goods, or the provision of service) and all commercial activities within, or having effect within Nigeria, including:
(a) a body corporate or agency of the Government of the Federation or of a sub-division of the Federation, if the body corporate or agency engages in commercial activities;
(b) a body corporate or agency in which the Government of the Federation or Government of a State, or a body corporate or agency of the Government of the Federation or any State or Local Government, has a controlling interest, where such a body corporate engages in economic activities; and
(c) all commercial activities aimed at making profit and geared towards the satisfaction of demand from the public.
In addition, the provisions of the FCCPA apply to certain conducts occurring outside Nigeria where such conduct is by:
(a) a citizen of Nigeria or person ordinarily resident in Nigeria;
(b) a body corporate incorporated in Nigeria or carrying out business within Nigeria; and
(c) any person in relation to the supply or acquisition of goods or services by that person into or within Nigeria.
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Originally published by ICLG 13 May 2021.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.