The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has given its support to the Federal Government’s recent increase in excise duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. The Director-General, Babatunde Irukera disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, the increase will serve as a measure to reduce the risks of abuse and disease. The DG also lauded the Federal Government’s consideration for consumers in “granting a 90-day moratorium and periodic incremental adjustments to ensure an appropriate balance between personal consumer choices and the public interest.
“I commend President Muhammadu Buhari for his strong leadership in addressing this vital consumer issue in a manner that is consistent with prevailing global practices.”
Irukera said that though CPC protects the rights of all consumers and their prerogative to make personal lifestyle choices, it, however, encourages responsible consumption in all circumstances.
He said that of particular concern were products that may potentially have adverse effects or possibly modify behaviour in a fashion that may be harmful or inconvenient to the consumer, or others.
He further stated that the policy was the product of consensus pursuant to broad stakeholders’ engagement and was motivated in large part by the Federal Government’s desire to reduce the risks of abuse and disease that may be associated with consumption of these products.
According to him, the Federal Government’s approach will also foster consumer confidence, provide regulatory clarity and prioritise safety, all of which reinforces the mandate of the council.
“The council insists that all producers, particularly of the products subject of this revised excise duty must take appropriate steps, including full disclosures to promote responsible consumption, responsive, transparent and accessible consumer complaint resolution mechanisms to protect and satisfy consumers.”