By Nelson Manneh
The Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (GCCPC) in collaboration with the Gambia Press Union (GPU), on Thursday, 4th May 2017, conducted a one day training session on Consumers’ rights.
This training, according to the organisers, is meant to sensitise and build the capacity of journalists working for various news organs on competition and consumer rights.
In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Amadou Ceesay the Executive Director of GCCPC said his organization is an independent public institution established to enforce the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2007 / 2014; that these Acts together, aim to protect and enforce fair competition within the Gambian economy and also protect the welfare of consumers of goods and services.
Mr. Ceesay added that their main goal as a commission under the competition act is to prohibit the monopoly and dubious unfair trade that will be detrimental to the consumer; that this is why a consumer tribunal has been established to deal with consumers’ complaints and matters related there from.
In his presentation, Mr. Yusupha Njai said consumer rights range from the right to privacy, right to fair and honest dealing, right to fair and responsible marketing, right to disclosure of truth, sufficient and timely information, right to fair, just and reasonable terms and conditions, right to fair value, goods and services, right to accountability by suppliers, right to equality in consumer market and protection against discriminatory marketing practice and the right to choose, which can be found in the Act.
Mr. Emil Touray, the President of the Gambia Press Union (GPU) in his closing remarks said the training came at the right time.
“Journalists cannot be expected to dilate on issues of competition and consumer rights protection, if they are not equipped with the basic knowledge,” he noted.
The GPU President said previously, issues pertaining to consumer rights and protection were not given the coverage it deserved by journalists; that this is not because they were not interested but they were not given the right preparation to deal with such issues. Mr. Touray said with the right training they are expected to sensitise the public on their various rights as consumers and how to protect them.