CPC Demands Action As Dana Air Plane Overshoots Runway

Photo: Sahara Reporters

 

The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has called for transparent and responsive action after a plane belonging to Dana Air overshot the runway on Tuesday as it landed at the Port Harcourt Airport in Rivers State.

In a statement by its Director-General, Mr Babatunde Irukera, on Wednesday, the council commended the safe evacuation of all passengers and crew onboard without injury.

READ ALSO: Dana Air Plane Overshoots Runway In Port Harcourt

According to them, the cause of the incident is still unknown but under investigation.

The aircraft was damaged while the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) had been notified and already in control.

CPC, however, said: “An open, transparent, sensitive and responsive approach by the airline and relevant authorities is vital to sustaining confidence and assuring consumers.

“The Council welcomes this openness and attention to consumers, including providing medical or psychological support where necessary.”

They further congratulated relevant airport and aviation authorities, as well as the airline for the safe evacuation and management of what could otherwise have been tragic.

The Council called for calm as it awaits more information and a detailed investigation by the AIB, in compliance with ICAO standards.

They also informed the public about their communication with the airline and NCAA, adding that they are aware that Dana Air has provided logistic support and accommodation to the passengers.

In this regard, CPC noted that it must be in compliance with minimum standards in accordance with prevailing Regulations under Part 19, Nigerian Civil Aviation Rules (NCAR).

“The Consumer Protection Council, in collaboration with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, other aviation agencies and service providers remain available to all passengers in the sector to answer questions, provide assistance and required assurances at this and other times. Our hotlines are 08056003030 and 08056002020,” the statement read.

The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Henrietta Yakubu, had also confirmed that “no casualty was recorded, as all passengers on board were safely evacuated.”

“A Dana aircraft numbered 9J0363, flying from Abuja to Port Harcourt airport has overshot the Port Harcourt runway. The incident was suspected to have been caused by a heavy rain, which was accompanied by strong wind and storm in Port Harcourt,” Yakubu had said.

FG Sues Turkish Airlines For Alleged Rights Violation

Court, Turkish Airlines, GovernmentThe Federal Government has sued Turkish Airlines before a Federal High Court in Abuja over an alleged criminal violation of the rights of some Nigerian passengers.

The government also indicted the company for violating the enabling law of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC).

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, filed a three-count charge against the airline as well as its Board Chairman, Liker Ayci and its Commercial Manager, Rasak Shobowale.

Untimely Delivery Of Baggage

In the charge, the Federal Government alleged that the three accused persons between December 20, 2015 and March 2016, “without sufficient cause, refused to provide the Consumer Protection Council documents on Turkish Airlines’ policy on delayed baggage,” thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 18 of the CPC Act.

The Federal Government also accused the airline and its two principal officers of violating the same section of the CPC Act by neglecting, without sufficient cause, to attend and testify before the consumer protection agency on the detailed steps taken by the airline to provide redress and compensation to passengers aboard its Flight 623 from Istanbul to Abuja on the said dates, who were affected by its untimely delivery of baggage.

The prosecution came on the heels of persistent refusal of Turkish Airlines to respond to lawful requests of CPC for a full situation report on the airline’s alleged shoddy treatment of passengers of Flight 623 from Istanbul to Abuja on December 25 and 31, 2015 as well as January 9, 2016, which prompted the council to approach the Justice Minister for the prosecution of the airline.

CPC Cautions Service Providers Against Consumer Rights Violation

CPC-ConsumersThe Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has read the riot act to service providers in the telecommunications and aviation industry in Nigeria.

Addressing members of the Mentorship and Business Development Forum of the Nigerian Bar Association in Abuja, the Director General of CPC, Mrs Dupe Atoki, warned against the violation of the rights of consumers.

Speaking on Thursday, Mrss Atoki noted that the Council had been overwhelmed with complaints by consumers, who receive unsolicited messages from telecommunication service providers in addition to making consumers pay for poor quality of service.

She also decried the actions of airline operators offering shabby treatment to their customers in terms of delayed flights and outright cancellation of flights without compensation to their customers.

The CPC boss cautioned persons trampling on the rights of consumers to brace up and improve the quality of their services or be prepared to face legal sanctions.

CPC Orders MTN To Pay 1.85m Naira To Promo Winner

MTNCPC has directed MTN Communications Limited to pay 1.85 million Naira to one of the winners of its Ultimate Wonder Promo for lack of due diligence.

The order of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) came on the heels of a complaint brought by Mr Omeje Fidelis against the mobile telecommunications giant that he had been underpaid after he was declared winner of two million Naira in the said sales promotion held in 2012.

According to Omeje, he participated in the promo and was called through MTN line 180 on October 10, 2012, that he had won two million Naira in the Ultimate Wonder Promo and that on October 12 of the same year, he got a text message informing him of the presentation ceremony fixed for October 19 at the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The complainant asserted that during the said ceremony, he was presented with a dummy cheque of two million Naira with his name on it while he was interviewed as well as paraded before the media and the world as a winner of the said amount.

He recounted further that he was stunned to receive another call from MTN line 180 on November 2, 2012 that his winning was 150,000 Naira and was thereafter, given a Verve ATM card for that amount.

In its response to the Council’s intervention, MTN denied the claim of Omeje, saying that he was from the on-set informed that his winning was 150,000 Naira and that the complainant deceitfully presented himself when winners in the two million Naira category were called forward on the day of the prize presentation.

The company stated further that Omeje’s antics were discovered at the verification of winners, which was done after the ceremony and he was thereafter, contacted through its 180 line on his misrepresentation pursuant to which he apologised.

But the CPC demanded for the call data of the communications of October 10, 2012, when Omeje was informed of his winnings of 150,000 Naira but MTN failed, refused and neglected to comply with the request made both in 2012 and 2016.

In its orders, the Council frowned at the consistent refusal of MTN to provide “the call data records evidencing details of communication with the complainant”, declaring that “in the absence of this material evidence, which is solely in the possession of the respondent, the CPC must resolve the issue in favour of the complainant”.

It further declared that “the process of the MTN Ultimate Wonder Promotion whereby the verification exercise was conducted after winners were identified, declared and winnings presented publicly is grossly flawed, lacking in transparency, inequitable and apparently calculated to deceive consumers”.

The CPC, on the strength of these observations, directed the MTN to pay within 14 days of receipt of its order, the sum of 1,850,000 Naira “Being the unpaid part of the two million Naira prize won by the complainant in the 2012 MTN Ultimate Wonder Promotion”.

Commenting on the issue, the Council’s Director General, Mrs Dupe Atoki, reaffirmed the obligation of businesses to desist from promos that are not honest, transparent, equitable and faithful or designed to deceive consumers.

Consumer Protection Council Investigates High Cost Of Electricity

Electricity-meterThe Consumer Protection Council (CPC) in Nigeria has launched an investigation into the high cost of electricity by distribution companies, with a view to putting an end to high tariffs.

At a meeting held in Abuja on Friday between the officials of distribution companies and the CPC, the Director General of the Council, Mrs Dupe Atoki, said there had been an increase in complaints by electricity consumers in the last few months bordering on indiscriminate increase in electricity bills, non-supply of meters and mass disconnections.

Mrs Atoki said the CPC would not hesitate to sanction distribution companies found guilty of the allegations brought against them.

The meeting had been called to look at ways of ensuring that no electricity consumer in Nigeria was short-changed.

Complaints by electricity consumers have been on the rise in the last few months and some of the issues raised, which were discussed at the meeting, are the refusal of distribution companies to install pre-paid meters in consumers’ homes, high and estimated charges.

The Executive Director, Regulatory and Stakeholders, Abuja DISCO, Abimbola Odubiyi and the Head of Customer Service, Port Harcourt Distribution Company, Godwin Oruwiroro, gave reasons for the delay in the distribution of prepaid meters.

Recently, at a public hearing on power, the Chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr Sam Amadi, expressed displeasure with the non-installation of prepaid meters in consumers’ homes among other issues bothering on service delivery.

Ministry Says 2.7 Trillion Naira Spent On Power Since 1999

Nigerian power sectorThe Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, says about 2.7 trillion Naira has been spent on the power sector from 1999 till date.

The official gave the figure on Tuesday during the investigative hearing of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Power.

He said inconsistent funding was responsible for the lack of constant electricity in the oil-rich nation.

Ambassador Igali, however,  pointed out that the privatisation exercise, which took place in 2013,  had helped in taking the burden of funding off the Federal Government.

The Senate committee also received a presentation on the National Integrated Power Project, which was conceived in 2004, as a major fast-track initiative to add significant new generation capacity to Nigeria’s electricity supply industry.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Protection Council had commenced investigations into high electricity cost by distribution companies.

The Senate had said that the probe would cover the regimes of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, late Umaru Yar’adua and Goodluck Jonathan.

The Senate Ad- hoc Committee on Power, was inaugurated by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on August 28.

The Clerk of the Committee on Power, Mr Cletus Ojabo, said the probe would be in form of investigative hearing and interactive session with key players in the sector.

Phone Rights: Agency Threatens To Imprison CEOs Of Telecom Companies

Dupe AtokiThe Director General of the Consumer Protection Council, Dupe Atoki, on Thursday, threatened to exercise the full extent of the law on the Chief Executive Officers of all the telecommunication companies in Nigeria, if they continue to ignore the agency’s summons to a round-table discussion.

Atoki, a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, issued the warning while speaking on the 2014 edition of the World Consumer Rights Day which is themed ‘Fix Our Phone Rights.’

“Every year there is a theme for which consumers all over the world highlight. This goes back to 1963 when President John F. Kennedy addressed the Congress, raising issues of consumer abuses and got the Congress to recognise four basic rights of consumers, from where the various consumer protection legislations emanated.”

“Consumer Protection agencies all over the world adopted 15th of March, the day John F. Kennedy addressed Congress, as World Consumer Rights Day.”

Atoki explained that the theme of the Day was a call to all telecoms companies to ‘Fix Our Phones Right’. “All over the world, that would be the theme that would be considered for the next 12 months, highlighting the challenges that phone users all over the world have been calling on the various operators to fix them right”.

Atoki, who stressed that there are myriads of issues being faced by phone users in Nigeria particularly “the phone use and all the appendages of the telecom system”, disclosed that there are about 122 million phone subscribers in Nigeria.

She further listed major complaints as truncated or dropped calls, unsolicited services including telemarketing, calls and messages, automated sign in services, wrong charges, poor internet services, sales promotions.

She also admitted that many of the issues are unattended to largely as a result of the unpopularity of the agency as well as citizens not knowing what their rights are. However, the agency has published a compendium on its website which consumers can access and submit complaints.

In line with the agency’s vision to ensure that consumer rights are protected, the DG had called for a round table meeting with the CEOs of all the telecom operators to address the issues but the individuals did not attend.

Atoki stressed that the meeting had been moved twice so that the CEOs could attend the policy-making meeting. She warned that refusal to honour the CPCs summon is a crime which can attract a 5-year jail term.

“We have a robust law that gives us power to issue orders and disobedience of those orders also attracts imprisonment.”

She added that she was more interested in finding solutions than sending people to prison.

Jonathan Appoints Emeka Mba As DG National Broadcasting Commission

President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the appointments of a number of chief executives for some federal government agencies amongst which is the appointment of Mr Emeka Mba as the new Director-General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Mr Mba was formerly the Director General of National Film and Video Censor Board (NFVCB).

Other appointments approved by President Jonathan are Hajiya Inna Maryamm Ciroma, as the Managing Director, National Inland Waterways Authority.

Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, is appointed at Executive Director of the National Tourism Development Corporation.

Mr. Bature Masadi is to take over as the Director- General of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency, while Mrs. Dukpe C. Atoki, heads to the Consumer Protection Council as it’s Director–General.

Other appointees are; Engr. Danjuma Dabo as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation and Prof. Eli Jidere, as the Director-General of the Energy Commission of Nigeria.

The statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Anyim Pius Anyim, announced that all the appointees are expected to resume duties immediately.

 

S/NO

NAME

DESIGNATION

PARASTATAL

1.       

Hajiya Inna Maryamm Ciroma

Managing Director

National Inland Waterways Authority

 

2.       

Mrs. Sally Mbanefo

Executive Director

National Tourism Development Corporation

 

3.       

Mr. Bature Masadi

Director- General

Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency

 

4.       

Mrs. Dukpe C. Atoki

Director –General

Consumer Protection Council

 

5.       

Engr. Danjuma Dabo

Managing Director

Nigerian Film Corporation

 

6.       

Mr. Emeka Nkem Mba

Director- General

Nigerian Broadcasting Commission

 

7.       

Prof. Eli Jidere

Director-General

Energy Commission of Nigeria