E-Commerce And Consumer Protection In Nigeria: Advertisement And False Description

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1.0 Introduction

1.1  Background to the study

Nigeria has certainly benefitted from this new global order of e-commerce transactions and has witnessed exponential development of certain industries through the adaptation of the technology. However, the regulation of the e-commerce sector has practically been left to the architecture of the internet and the ingenuity of the investors and technopreneurs without any precise focal law to govern transactions and business behaviours on the internet Ayokunle, (2016). Electronic commerce is not only challenging traditional business methods but is also having a massive impact on consumers’ habits. The growing importance of e-commerce and the spreading of the Internet, which is having profound changes on almost all aspects of our society and life, has recently called for the drafting of new legal instruments, both at global and European level, in order to put the regulation of the internet on a more solid foundation and to better regulate the activities carried out through this medium. The principal legal framework for consumer protection in Nigeria is over two decades old, the Nigerian Consumer Protection Council Act 1992. Nigerian Constitution, (1999) The growing importance of e-commerce has changed the situation. Indeed, e-commerce has pushed legislators, both at national and international level, to adopt new legal instruments to deal with it and to foster its development. It is undisputedly clear that the Act cannot meet the challenges of e-commerce transactions and that no single government or nation can completely regulate the Internet or e-commerce. Co-operation amongst States and international organisations is necessary in order to harmonise the existing rules and to give that certainty and predictability that business activity needs when taking place over the internet.

In providing concrete regulations within these subject matters, emphasis should be upon the service providers to provide their services in line with the requirement of the law. Thus, consumers are better assured of their rights in cases of breach. Also, care must be taken to ensure that the emphasis is not only on contracts concluded by the internet but all contracts concluded by the use of electronic devices. The validity of a contract within e-commerce must be clearly defined and the conditions must be ascertainable.

While progress has been achieved in the Evidence Act 2011, with regards to the admissibility of electronically generated evidence, this in itself cannot achieve the intended drive for a regulated e-commerce economy. The Electronic Transaction Act, 2015 which is designed to facilitate electronic transactions in Nigeria. Issues raised in the Act are something that needs to be discussed because for Nigeria to become an active player in e-commerce, the enabling legal environment to enable electronic transactions need to be created in order to ensure equal opportunities, equality and economic development. It will further allow for the implementation of e-government services, improving the quality of services and reducing the cost of services, and increasing transparency and efficiency in the procurement and sale of goods and services. Therefore, the paper aims to promote public confidence on the Bill as well as enhance competitiveness in e-commerce.

1.2  Statement of the Problem

Statement of the Problem The  existence  of  the  imbalance  of  knowledge  and  power  relationship  between  the  producers  of

goods  and  services  and  customers  led  to  the  ugly  marketing  environment  and  situations  that consumers were exposed to. Over the years, they were subjected to severe exploitations. They were continuously  supplied  substandard,  fake  and  at  times  expired  products.  In  physical  products,

producers  and  dealers  create  artificial  scarcity  in  order  to  make  superfluous  profits  through over overpricing. In advertising, consumers were  deliberately deceived by some  desperate producers and dealers.  In  service industry,  consumers  were made  to pay  exorbitant estimated PHCN  bills  without services  being  rendered.  In  transportation, consumers  were  made  to  pay  high transportation fares only  to  be provided  with  dilapidated  vehicles  that  break  down on  the  road  leaving  a  lot  of  then stranded. In telecommunications consumers were overcharged, pay for unconnected calls, face a lot of drop calls and network congestions, subjected to low national network coverage despite the claims of service providers that one is covered everywhere one goes.

On the part of consumers themselves, they accept and pay for goods without adequate assurance of quality and quantity. The government agency and official responsible for consumer protection seem not to  monitor adequately the activities of producers and  dealers. All these resulted to  the massive exploitation suffered by consumers. It  is  against this backdrop that  this  study seeks  to  examine the role of Consumer Protection Council in protecting the consumers against these activities of producers of goods and services.

1.3  Purpose of the Study

To examine the effect of CBN e-ecommerce regulations on consumer protection in Nigeria

To examine the effect of FGN e-ecommerce regulations on consumer protection in Nigeria

To examine the challenges e-ecommerce regulations on consumer protection in Nigeria

1.4  Research Questions

What is the effect of CBN e-ecommerce regulations on consumer protection in Nigeria?

What is the effect of FGN e-ecommerce regulations on consumer protection in Nigeria?

What is the challenges e-ecommerce regulations on consumer protection in Nigeria?


1.5  Hypothesis

There is no significant effect of CBN e-ecommerce regulations on consumer protection in Nigeria

There is no significant effect of FGN e-ecommerce regulations on consumer protection in Nigeria

There is no significant effect of challenges e-ecommerce regulations on consumer protection in Nigeria.

1.6  Significance of study

The researcher firmly believes that the result of this research work will enable Nigerian policy makers, to know that e-commerce is inescapable, and why we must have a proper vision of its consequence and understand how we would take advantages of its opportunities.

The study will help to show the gains that a country can achieve by engaging in e-commerce.

The research study will show the process through which development can be ushered in with the use of e-commerce. The study will serve as a reference material for future and further researchers in this field of study and tends to expand the horizon of existing knowledge to a frontier.

  • Limitations of the study

       In every research work, it is likely that the researcher may encounter some limitations. The researcher encountered some challenges during the period of carrying out this research. Some of these challenges include the dearth of materials for a proper and effective research work constituted a major limitation. Again, how to get the true and required information from the students through questionnaire also constituted a constraint in the study.

Finally, there was the problem of convincing the respondents on the primary objectives of the questionnaire so as to give the true and required information.

1.8 Methodology

In this research work, qualitative method of inquiry was adapted, which relies on the use of secondary data. The information that served the basis of my analysis was sourced from books, periodicals, journals, internet daily’s and other relevant official records and documents from business organizations (industries and companies). The research reviewed scholarly literature on the topic of study.


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