Legislation can be defined as an Act enacted by the government to check the unfair practices of producers and middlemen.
Some of these Acts or Laws are:
Food and Drug Act 1955
Weight and Measures Act 1963
Price Control Decree 1970
Trade Description Act 1968
Standard Organisation Decree 1971
Hire Purchase Act 1975
Sales of Goods Act 1993
Food and Drug Act 1955: The law makes provision for the regulations of the manufacturers, sales and advertisement of food and drug etc. The act provides that:
Goods that are poisonous or harmful substances is unfit for human consumption
Food or drug which is adulterated mist not be sold
Goods sold must be properly labelled and advertised
Good sold must follow the prescribed standard
Goods manufactured, stored or preserved under unsanitary conditions must not be sold.
Weights and Measures Act 1963: The weight and Measures Act regulates the units of measurement used in trade. The acts provides that:
The consumer must be protected against exploitation in weight and Measures
The standard weight and Measures are used
Some goods like sugar, milk etc must be packaged in prescribed quantities.
Price Control Decree 1970: The main goal was to control inflation by fixing the retail prices of some goods.
The provisions are:
Protection of the consumer from paging exorbitant price
Prevention of hoarding by sellers who refuse to sell at controlled price
Stabilisation of general price level
Imposition of price control of some goods
Trade Description Act 1968: The trade description was introduced to prevent the deception of consumers by false adverrising. It prohibits misleading description of goods and services.
The provisions are meant to:
To protect consumers against misleading description of goods and services
To prohibit false description in terms of quality etc
Standard Organisation Decree 1971: The decree established the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to standardize methods and products in industries and to ensure compliance with government policy in standardization. The decree is meant :
To provide the necessary measures for quality control and finished goods
To ensure that the policy of government standard specification and quality are maintained
To undertake preparation of samples that are standardised.
Hire Purchase Act 1975: The act was passed with the fundamental objective of placing a break in the catalogues of I justices I hereby in hire purchase transactions. The act provides for the following
Requirements relating to hire purchase and credit sale agreements
Appropriation of payments
Recovery of goods on hire purchase
The rights of the hirer in determining terms of agreement.
Sales of Goods Act 1993: Sales of Goods Act was introduced to regulate the respective rights and duties of the vendor and purchasers. The act provides that:
The seller has the right to sell in want contract sale
The goods are for the purpose for which they are required
There is an implied warranty that the buyer will enjoy quiet possession
The goods must be of merchantable quality
The goods must correspond with description
Rent Edict: The rent edict was introduced to curb the excesses of landlords and agents. It serves to accomplish the following:
To control rents charged by landlords
To curtail the activities of caretakers and agents
To fix rent for certain categories of houses, having taken into consideration the areas where they are located
To ensure compliance with the edict
To ensure the rights of the tenants
Agencies Responsible for Consumer Protection
Price Control Board
Food and Drug Department of Ministry of Health
Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON)
Environmental Protection Agency
Public Health Department/Unit
Ministry of Trade and Industry
Consumers Association: Consumers Association are formed by consumers to protect their rights and interest . They study the prices and the quality of goods sold in their locality and make recommendations to their members. Examples are Tenants Association, Consumer Co-operative Association and Association of Electricity Consumers. The objectives of the association are:
To act as a check against exploitation of consumers by the manufacturer
To check arbitrary increases in prices of goods
To act as a guide against deceptive and misleading advertisement
To protect their members against consumption of harmful or dangerous goods
To educate the consumers about their rights
Manufacturers Association: This is an association of producers who come together to ensure that the quality of goods produced is high and that the members comply with their professional ethics, e.g Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
Their functions are:
The manufacturers association sponsor some of their members on trade mission to foreign countries
They also protect the interest of their members
They ensure uniformity in prices of goods
They ensure high quality goods and services
They ensure that members abide with their professional ethics
Rent Tribunals: The rent tribunals are set up by the government to regulate any matter relating to rentage of houses, shops etc. It is aimed at curbing the excesses of landlords and agents.
Its functions are:
To control rents charged by landlords
To ensure compliance with the rent edict by prosecuting offenders
To fix rent for certain categories of houses, deep ding on the locations.
Price Control Board: The board was established to do tell inflation by fixing the retail prices of certain essential commodities. Its functions are :
To protects low income earners
To protects the consumers from paging exorbitant prices
To stabilize general price levels and contain inflationary pressures in the economy
To fix prices for some essential commodities
Foods and Drugs Department of Ministry of Health: The food and drug administration whose duty is now handed by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is charged with administering these provision of the food and drug decree
Its functions are:
The department ensures that the provisions of the Food and Drug Act are implemented
It ensures the cleanliness of abattoir and healthiness of animals
The department ensures that drugs to be sold are tested for safety purposes
It regulates and monitors advertisement in the media
The department educated the people about the dangers of some goods and Drugs
Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) : The standard organisation of Nigeria (SON) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 1971. The functions of the organisation are:
To ensure compliance with the government policy of standardization
To standardized methods and products in companies
To provide measure for quality control of products
To advise the Federal Government on national policy on standards and quality
To test products to ensure that minimum specification are met.
Environmental Protection Agency: It is a parastatal of the Federal Government. Its main objectives are:
To ensure that regulations and rules concerning environmental sanitation and hygiene are strictly adhered to
To ensure the treatment of polluted water and payment of compensation to inhabitants by the company that causes pollution
To ensure disposal of refuse
To maintain clean sewage system
Public Health Unit ( Sanitary Inspectors) : Public health unit or department is the government organ that deal with complaint on dirty environment, shops, restaurants and food items that are not for consumption.
Professional Bodies: These bodies lay down the rules and regulations about their profession. They ensure that members abide by the ethics of the profession by regulation their activities so as to protect the consuming public. Examples are Institute of chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN).
Its functions are
To ensure that members operate according to their professional ethics
To ensure compliance with laid down rules and regulations
To discipline erring members
To register members as professionals
Ministry of Trade and Industry: This industry collaborate with other organs administer government laws and regulates relating to trade and industry in a country.
Its functions are:
To ensure that most goods imported and exported are regulated
It monitors the setting up of business
It enforces laws on trade and industry
The ministry ensures compliance with various acts, e.g Trade Description Act.