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PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCIES IN NIGERIA

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCIES IN NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

1950 marked the beginning of the practice of marketing concept. The concept states that the consumers’ wants and the satisfaction of their needs come first and are the economic justifications for the firms existence. Peter Durcker (1970:110) emphasizes the importance of the consumer in his assertion that “the purpose of a business is to create a customer”. Hence, marketing is vital to the company’s existence since without a customer, the business will cease to exist, as there will be no sales income.

The concept is the forth among the five different concepts in a chronological order (production concept, product concept, selling concept, marketing concept and societal market concept) in the development of marketing. However, many organizations especially in Nigeria practice marketing on paper while its’ rival (the selling concept) is actually in practice.

The selling concept is “a management orientation that assumes that consumers will normally not buy enough of the company’s products unless they are approached with a substantial selling and promotion effort” (Adirika, Ebue and Nnolim ,1996:18). This practice is hard-driven as customer satisfaction is considered secondary to the primary objective of getting the sales. Hence, protecting the interest of the manufacturers or sellers and their goods to the detriment of consumers’ satisfaction and promotion of buyers right.

The failure of marketing to live up to its ethnics and social responsibilities to both consumers and the society gave rise to consumer protection (consumerism).

“Consumerism is an organized and legal movement involving individuals or groups of consumers against any activities that breach their legal rights to safety, information, choice ant to be heard on any issues effecting, their life as citizens of a given state or society and as consumers” (Jacques, 1999:54). Consumerism is a protest or a visible movement of aggrieved consumers, the government or independent organizations calling for protection of the interests of consumers against definite and dangerous products or services and seeking redress, restitution or remedy for dissatisfactions from unscrupulous business practices in general and marketing practices in particular.

To the firm, consumerism is a threat, but to the marketer it is a challenge while to the consumer it is a right and a way of life (Ekechi, 1999:239).

In response to the yearnings of the consumer to be protected from unscrupulous operators, who tread on the rights of the consumers, the government through legislations and establishment of agencies has made several efforts to protect the consumers.

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCIES IN NIGERIA

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Notwithstanding, the timely intervention in the market mechanism by government, there are still complaints and discontentment on the part of consumers shown in litigations against unethical business practices.

Consumers are not satisfied with the services they received in the hands of manufacturers or sellers inspite of the existence of organizations to protect their rights. This research is therefore carried out to investigate the effectiveness of consumer protection agencies whether the dissatisfaction of the consumers is as a result of unawareness of the existing laws protecting the right of the consumers.

1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The study will address the following objectives:-

  1. To evaluate the effectiveness of consumer protection agencies (both government established and independent associations).
  2. To ascertain the extent of consumer awareness of consumer protection laws in Nigeria.
  3. To determine the desirability or otherwise of more consumer protection legislations in Nigeria.
  4. To identify possible problems and prospects of consumer protection agencies.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

To solve the research problem, the researcher has asked the following research questions.

  1. Is the consumer aware that there is a law protecting his/her right against the seller?
  2. How effective are the organizations who are supposed to protect the right of consumers?
  3. How often has the consumer sought redress when his/her rights are infringed upon?
  4. What obstacles do the consumers face in trying to seek redress on the basis of existing laws?

 1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

The following hypothesis form the framework for carrying the study.

HYPOTHESIS 1

Null Hypothesis,      Ho: Majority of the Nigeria consumers are unaware of major consumer    protection

laws in Nigeria.

Alternative Hypothesis Hi:  Majority of Nigerian consumers are aware of the major consumer protection

laws in Nigeria.

HYPOTHESIS 11:

Null Hypothesis,       Ho: Majority of Nigeria consumers do not seek redress when their right are infringed

upon.

Alternative Hypothesis Hi: Majority of Nigeria consumers do seek redress when their right are infringed

upon.

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Consumerism as a practice, a way of life and legal steps to fundamental right is still very low, considering what goals it is to achieve globally. This study is not intended to create rift between sellers and consumers, for both are interdependent on the other. The study will be of immense benefit to the consumers, firms/ marketers and protection agencies.

The consumers shall be equipped with the basic information in respect of their rights and existing consumer protection laws and agencies will be made known to them.

The firms will benefit, as it will serve as a guide in their business operation. Furthermore, it will make the functioning  areas of every firm to work as one, through spending quality time on planning and decision and building product to its best level.

It is also expected that the findings will help to bridge the gap that may exist between the protection agencies and the public and make these protection agencies effective or more effective in their modus operadi.

1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY

Although, this study is meant to cover a wider geographical area in Nigeria, the researcher intends to delimit the study to few business operators, consumers and consumer protection agencies within Enugu metropolis.

Enugu metropolis comprises three local government areas namely: Enugu North, Enugu East and Enugu South. From these local government areas, the following areas are selected to administer questionnaires. Abakpa-Nike,  Trans-Ekulu/ GRA, New Heaven, Ogui, Independent Layout, Asata, Amaechi- Awkunanaw, Achara Layout, Uwani and Maryland.

 1.8 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

The research was constrained by finance, time and poor responses from some of the respondents who failed to return the questionnaire while, some others had provided misleading information. However, with the limitations notwithstanding, the researcher was able to make maximum use of the available resources and time to achieve the objective of the research.

PROJECT TOPIC- EFFECTIVENESS OF CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCIES IN NIGERIA

1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS

The following terms used in the study are defined as follows

  • Ethical
  • Marketing concept
  • Effectiveness and
  • Consumer protection

Ethical is a mass of moral principle or sets of value about what conduct ought to be. It may be specified by a written and unwritten set of codes or principles governing a profession (Esteiner in Ozo 2002: 351)

Adirika et al (1996:21) defined marketing concept “as a market focused customer orientation, backed by integrated/ co-ordinated marketing, aimed at generating customer satisfaction as the key to satisfying organizational goals”.

Hornby A.S (1995) define effectiveness as “as act having the desired effect; providing the intended result” (Hornby’s Oxford Dictionary, page 370).

Consumer protection is interchangeably used as consumerism in the research work. Consumer protection is the effort made either by the consumer himself, the government, and/ or independents organizations to protect the consumer from the unscrupulous practices of businesses in their quest for profit” (Onah, 1979 in Ifezue 1990:153)

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