Consumerism In Nigeria (The Role Of NAFDAC And APOCN)
I embanked upon this study because of the increasing need to protect the interest of all consumers in Nigeria with the specific focus on the role of National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control and the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria.
If these two bodies carryout their duties diligently and effectively, the rights of consumers should be highly protected by reducing unethical behaviours.
1.1 Background Of The Study
Business exists primarily to earn profit. In order to achieve this goal; it will seek to serve some identifiable needs of some definable consumer. Without consumers there would not be business because effective demand is desire back by ability to pay. Consumers are therefore an important societal group towards whom business must believe responsibly.
While consumers are important to business they are not organised to countervail against business practices that are harmful or exploitative of them. In relation to business consumers stand like labour in relation to management. Traditionally, the business are free to make and market any product and or service provided that is not dangerous and also to design advertising communication for its products and services. They are also allowed to price them in ways that enable them to maximize profit.
In 1962, the president of the United States of America (U.S.A), John F. Kennedy (Late) listed consumers right to include.
- The right to choice from a range of brand of products and services.
- The right to be informed of important fact about a product or services, such as quality, health hazards and durability.
- The right to be heard by business and government to make complaints or suggestion and to ask question.
- The right to be safe when using products and services.
In the United States there arose the consumer movement in reaction to abuses by business, in the 1960’s consumers were dissatisfied with defective or unsafe products fraudulent claims and careless repair. This resulted in the consumer product safety commission in 1972 (U.S) such concerns were felt in Nigeria and have let the government regulation of business to protect consumer. In the 1970’s government set up such bodies as the productivity, prices and incomes board and the part-health office. Today there are more such bodies among the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Federal Road Safety Commission, Public Complaint Commission etc.
The private sector also has watchdog bodies such as the Advertising Practitioner’s Council of Nigeria (APCON), the Nigeria Medical and Dental Council, the Nigerian Bar Association and so on.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
Whereas it is proper to have watchdog bodies, it is the relationship between these bodies and business that ensure the production of consumers. Two important consumer rights are the right to safe products and services to be what they are represented to be by the business which is selling it.
NAFDAC certified food and drugs as fit for human consumption, while APCON ensures that advertisements are not deceptive or unethical. The problem of the study is to establish the process by which these two bodies fulfill their mission and how consumers get assurances.
1.3 Objective Of Study
To start with NAFDAC, the primary goal of NAFDAC is to promote and guarantee the health and well being of Nigerians through the effective implementation of various law regulating and controlling the manufacture, Advertisement, distribution, sale, use of food, drugs, cosmetic, while Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) serve as a guidance to advertisement which should contain nothing which is breach of Nigeria and international copyright laws or omit anything which the law require. Also advertisement must not use visual illustrations that offered public taste and decency. In particular no obscene exposure will be allowed in any advertisement.
Again, the right of individual to privacy must be respected, and proper contractual agreements must be entered into by agencies, advertisers and model pictures and property of individuals should contain noting which is a beach of Nigeria and international copyright laws or omit anything which the law require. Also advertisement must not use visual illustration that offends public taste and decency. In particular no obscene exposure will be allowed in any advertisement.
Again, the right of individual to privacy must be respected, and proper contractual agreements must be entered into by agencies, advertisers and model. Pictures and property of individuals should not be used arbitrarily without the prior consent of the rightful owner.
Advertisements must not courage the popularization of negative myths and superstitions beliefs even when there are based on aspects of culture, philosophy and worldview.
1.4 Significance Of The Study
On the one hand, APCON Functions thus,
- To determine who are advertising practitioners
- To regulate and control the practice of advertising in all its aspects and ramification,
- To conduct examinations in the profession.
- To set the standards of knowledge required of such practitioners.
- By compiling and maintaining a register of practitioners.
In pursuant of the above, the council has approved this code for the control of advertising in its entire ramification. As stipulated in the enabling decree, nobody can practice adverting for profit in any form in Nigeria without first being registered with APCON; any contravention of this provision is punishable under the law.
On the other hand NAFDAC
- Pronounces on the quality and safety of food, drugs, cosmetic, medical devices, bottle water and chemical after appropriate laboratory analysis.
- Undertakes inspection of imported food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals at the port of entry as well as the premises where these products are manufactures locally.
- Controls the exportation of regulated products by issuing combined certificate of goods manufacturing practice free sale.
- Covants authorization to import and export Narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances chemicals as well as other controlled substances.
- Undertakes measures to ensure that the use of Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are limited to medical and scientific purpose.
- Regulates and controls the importation and exportation, manufacture, advertisement, distribution, sales and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottle water and chemicals.
- Also approves and monitors the advertisement of drugs, food, cosmetics, medical devices, bottle contents, standard specification and guidelines for production, importation, exportation, sales and distribution of all regulated product.
1.5 Scope Of The Study
NAFDAC, enforce reputation effectively
- To ensure that only good quality, safe and duly registered regulated products are in circulation in the country.
- To educate manufactures of food, drugs, cosmetics, bottle water and other related industries.
- To educate consumers and the general public to ensure its role is appreciated.
While Advertising practitioners council of Nigeria (APCON) ensures that all advertising must be legal, decent, honest, truthful and should be respectful of Nigeria’s culture they should be prepared with high sense of social responsibility and should not show disregard for interest of consumers and wider Nigeria society. Conform to the principal of air competition generally accepted in business and fair comment expected in human communication lastly enhances public confidence in advertising.
1.6 Definition Of Terms
National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control
Faculty, for instance dishing our drugs which are for human consumption.
Dishonest, a person pretending to be something he is not or a thing that is not what you expect.
To demand, a statement/assertion without any proof.
Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria.
Is a form of communication through media about producers, services or ideals paid for and identified sponsor.
Advertising As A Profession:
Is a body of experts involved in the art of planning, creating and placing advertisement in media.
Is one who is skilled in planning, creating and placing advertisement in the media.
An advertisement is a communication in the media paid for by an identifiable sponsor and directed at a target audience with the aim of importing information about a products services, ideal or opinion.
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