Home PerspectiveConsumerism Consumer rights is no excuse for rascality – Expert

Consumer rights is no excuse for rascality – Expert

by Emmanuel Ogundele
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The consumers’ rights to be protected by law of the country, though very essential, should not be misinterpreted to mean consumers irresponsibility or rascality.

While financial service provider firms are held liable by law to ensure the rights of the end-users are jealously guarded, the consumers on their own part hold it as a responsibility to obey all the terms and conditions entered into with the firms before the services are rendered.

Mr. Monday Michaels Ashibogwu, Executive Member, Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN), in a comment at an event organized to mark World Consumer Rights Day, said “Consumers need to be protected but the consumers also need to be responsible. It is irresponsible for a consumer to be a chronic debtor.

“Some even stopped using their bank accounts just to skip repaying the loan taken from fintech platforms online. The consumers need to be responsible by paying back on time.”

The event put together by the Band Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN) to commemorate Consumer Rights Day held in Ikeja, Lagos, also served as the swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected BJAN executive members headed by Mrs Clara Chinwe Okoro as Chairman.

Themed “Digital Finance: Risks, Opportunity and Challenges for Consumers” had Dr Ken Onyeali Ikpe, Non-Executive Director, Troyka Holdings, as the Special Guest of Honour cited Zenith, Lagos State Government, Nigerian Breweries (NB) as examples of organizations offering financial, governance and beverages services to dedicated end-users, saying that they would not achieve much if the consumers of their products or services are not treated to optimal satisfaction.

Dr Oluseyi Akindeinde, Chief Technical Officer, Digital Encode Ltd, who was the Keynote Speaker, said fintech infrastructure allows movement of value, “The Internet is information platform, not yet system of value movement, but bank is essentially an intermediary between a buyer and a seller.”

Akindeinde, while making a clarification between fintech and what he called DeFi – a decentralized finance, said centralized financial infrastructure such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is unsafe “should anything happens to CBN everybody will have issue” whereas in DeFi consumer can do the transaction directly.

“In DeFi value is pulled by merchants unlike other where value is pushed by consumers”, adding that a look at blockchain technology reveals the internet of value, “because everything is not digitized like the blockchain transaction and processing.

He noted that DeFi saver allows users to have a saying in how bank, for instance, use clients money, “The blochchain is decentralized, it doesn’t use saver, you can access your money anywhere in the world even if there is war.”

Mr Olukayode Akintumile, Director Finance & Research, FundQuest Financial Services, while speaking on the topic “The Risks and Benefits of Digital Finance” said fintech is designed to bringing the bank to the clients.

He said “Digital finance is banking at your fingertips” as defined digital finance as a financial service delivered with the aid of technology, noting that the financial services include those services that give one access to payments, savings and credit facilities.

Mr Akintumile listed risks involved in digital finance to include fraud risk, platform vulnerability risk, privacy risk and risk behavorial manipulation.

Earlier, Mrs Clara Okoro, in her acceptance speech as BJAN Chairman noted that though “This mandate is a sacred one and we intend to do everything within our powers to protect its sanctity, it’s a mandate which brings about a burden – the burden to serve not only you my colleagues, but also the entire marketing communications industry through our roles as journalists.”

Clara said BJAN, under her stewardship, would embark on partnership drive with the Mass Communications Departments of universities “to groom young students on the art of writing with the hope that they would emerge as great Brand Journalists of the future.”

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