By Abdulmalik Suleiman
Many people of impeccable character have shuned public office, because they are afraid their integrity will be corrupted,while some dare the consequence of taking up such appointment and allow themselves to be guided by principle,which makes them to excel in the assignment they are saddle with.
Though, many people of integrity ended up soiling their reputation,but that is not the situation with
Babatunde Irukera ,the Chief Executive of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC (formerly Consumer Protection Council).
His initiative added value to the council,because hitherto the council fails to live up to expectations,it existed as a toothless bulldog, while the consumers meant to be protected by it were deprived,robbed and cheated for the value of products they bought.
The situation was so bad then, that the consumers were helpless,in some cases consumption of substandard products led to untimely death of some people, especially drugs.
It is observed that some ailment persist because drugs administered to patient are substandard.
With the rebranding of the Consumer Protection Council CPC the hope of the consumer has been restored,this was possible because of Irukera leadership quality,who knew what he wants,and how to go about it.
The council was less effective in the past because it lacks enabling law which would enhance its performance
After many years of pushing for passage of its enabling act by the National Assembly and the Bill signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari last year, which birthed the Federal Consumer Protection and Competition Commission (FCCPC).
The FCCPC was set up not only to consolidate on the achievements of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC), but also to serve as a regulator that promotes competition and fairness in the Nigerian marketplace.
Irukera, is able to mend his ways because of his vast experience and wealth of ideas, having Chaired the Consumer Protection and Competition Law Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL). He infused new blood into FCCPC which makes manufacturer who have had a good time producing substandard goods and services to readjust.
In demonstration of the commitment to the cause of the consumers,some manufacturers and service providers who run foul of the standard expected of them have been sanctioned,while some have litigation filed against them for their infraction.
Part of the achievements of Irukera leadership when he assumed office was the issuance of a final order to Multichoice Nigeria Limited — a Pay TV company that provides television services to DStv,its offence is failure to uphold an alleged mutual agreement on tariffs review and other services.
In April this year, 2020 the agency stated on its official Twitter handle that it had commenced an investigation into a case of failed plastic surgery performed by MedContour Services Ltd.
Few days later, the Director General of FCCPC, led his team to seal off the company, over suspicions of illegal activities.
After weeks of denials and counter allegation, the FCCPC finally dragged the Lagos Surgeon, Dr. Anuoluwapo Adepoju to court that she has a case to answer.
The decision to prosecute the surgeon is said to be in line with the agency mission of ensuring that, customers priority is protected in the business value chain.
Appearing before a Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged evasion from investigation into a failed plastic Surgery.
Dr. Adepoju was charged alongside her Clinic -MedContour Services Ltd, on a five count charge bordering on a refusal to honour an invitation for investigation. She is standing trial before Justice Mohammed Liman.
FCCPC sealed the second defendant (MedContour), a plastic surgery hospital, over suspicions of illegal activities.
Demonstrating his commitment to bringing sanity into the production process and ensuring standard value for product and services rendered FCCPC is prosecuting H-Medix, Faxx Stores, Ebeano Supermarket & Bakan Gizo Pharmacy over alleged price gouging.
While reacting to the question on why leads the Commission’s legal team to tender some evidential materials at the Federal High Court in Lagos, in the ongoing prosecution of the Lagos Surgeon, Dr Anuoluwapo Adepoju of MedContour, by the Commission.
Answering questions from journalists after leading the Commission’s legal team to tender some evidents,the FCCPC boss also dismissed claims, in some quarters, that he was personally leading some of those cases as a vendetta against those being prosecuted.He insisted that the Commission was only assembling its best team for such major assignments, to enable it to achieve results.
Irukera emphasised that it had become imperative for him to take charge of some of those cases, to enable them to generate the much-needed focus and attention, in the public space, about laws guiding consumerism in the country.
Irukera has shown his quality of leadership that,he does not just occupy an office for personal benefit but to serve the people he is expected to serve and the impact of his service rendered would be felt.
He has demonstrated that one needs to prove his mettle at every opportunity given, and this is what is expected from a responsible leader.
Mal. Abdulmalik Suleiman
Write from Lagos