THE executive vice-chairman, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Mr. Babatunde Irukera, has said that the discomfort being felt by medical professionals about the activities of the agency in the health sector has not enabled it move at its much-desired pace.
Irukera, who stated this as a guest on a television programme recently, stated that the nation’s medics are gradually finding the commission’s role in the sector uncomfortable due to the ‘disruptive and radical’ approach it had adopted in enforcing the rights of the consumers in the sector.
He, however, expressed the delight that despite the slowdown, the commission had succeeded in growing awareness in the sector, as evident in the rising number of cases, regarding patients’ rights violation, the Medical and Dental Council was able to handle in the past one year.
“In the nation’s healthcare sector, professionals, especially doctors, have found the role of the FCCPC very uncomfortable.
“So, that in some sense, a slow down to some of our best enforcement strategies. But, the reality of it is that part of our work is to catalyze other regulatory authorities. Personally, I’m very proud, Medical and Dental Council in the past year, has had more cases, has handled more cases than it had in many, many years put together,” he stated.
The FCCPC boss also identified statutory instruments limitation as a major challenge for the Commission in regulating the nation’s banking space.
According to him, despite occupying the unenviable status of being the sector with the second largest number of consumer rights infractions complaints, the nation’s banking space had not really felt the impact of the Commission due to the introduction of a new law, the Banking and Other Financial Institutions Act, which excludes Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act.
“What the introduction of the Act, in 2020, did was to exclude FCCPC from the banking industry. So doing the oversight work that FCCPC does in resolving complaints in the financial institutions or respective financial institutions became limited.
“And one thing that is a result of this is that we don’t have the visibility that we would have had to contribute to policy and execution of policy.
“So essentially, the real statutory platform for resolving banking complaints is not the Central Bank of Nigeria, exclusively,” he stated.
Irukera, however, stated that the Commission would continue to to play its role of protecting consumers in the space, since withdrawing from that channel might lead to chaos.
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