The Director General of Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera on Friday said the Commission receives about one thousand complaints every week.
Irukera stated this during Strategic Media Engagement where he outlined the Commission’s achievements in 2019 and the target for 2020.
According to the Commission’s boss, there has been sharp increase in complaints the Commission receives between 200 and 1000 every year, saying this was due to increase in the channels available for complainants such as Emails, Twitter all due to the expanded Channels for complaints to be made.
Opining that, he is eager to lead a vibrant Commission that’s poised to serve the people according to its mandate, he added that, “What I am hoping to lead is not a help desk – I am not hoping to lead a multi-company customer service desk but a consumer ombudsmen where consumers stake their complaint to.
According to him, “If we are doing so much better and people are getting to know us more; people are beginning to find us reliable and now from doing up to 1000 complaints a year to 1000 complaints a week, we go up to 2000 complaints a week, then our capacity to continue to do that is sustained as a regulator, the answer is no.
“And for increasing your capacity to resolve complaints, there will be other important piece of the mandate that will not get the full attention.
“The evidence of that is clear. The single unit – the unit that has the highest number of people in the Commission today is Complaints Resolution, not even a department. As a matter of fact, as a unit they might even have more people than some departments even though it’s a unit in the department” he pointed out.
According to him, there’s actually a reference which in his words, is that “operatives and the resources that we deploy to resolve complaints go down to the nearest minimum.
“The reason is not because there are no complaints but because service providers or producers may get better at resolving complaints.
“Our most important role in conflict resolution is to get service providers more actively vibrantly and timely to resolve complaints.
“This is important because the commercial contract is between them and their customers and not between them and the federal government.
“We are not supposed to be the policeman with respect to resolving disputes, monitoring industry, yes.”
He said “When companies have to resolve complaints themselves, they deploy more get a lot more feedback, carry the headache to resolve complaints.
“That is what will make them even better. And that’s what will make the complaints resources to a meaningful level.”
He pointed out that, “We must focus on how the market is operating far more than what goes on with the individuals.
“In 2020, we should be focused on two things – robust engagement and wider consumer education.
“One, we must hold companies accountable. Two, how they respond to resolve these complaints.
So we must decide mechanisms that will put them on their toes on what can create dissatisfaction.”
He however said 2019 has been an active year as the resource base of the Commission has not increased even thought it is not an excuse for lack of performance.
He explained that the Commission has continued to use the resources available to it despite increasing volume of complaints to ensure it carries out its mandate.