Monday, April 22, 2024

Consumer Commission Engages UTG Students on Its Mandates

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By: Mama A. Touray

In its mission to enhance awareness of its roles in educational institutions, The Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (GCCPC) conducted an outreach with social science students at the University of The Gambia on its mandate yesterday.

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The outreach session focused on the importance of fostering competition and consumer rights as stipulated by the Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Acts. Consumer Protection Manager Fabakary Touray informed the students about the rights of consumers in The Gambia as per the Consumer Protection Act of 2014. Touray further guided the students through common consumer complaints received by the Consumer Department and explained how these issues are addressed.

Consumer protection official Fanta Ceesay, in her deliberations, explained how to file complaints to the commission and delved into a major consumer complaint issue, the return policy, disproving the notion that goods bought cannot be returned after 24 hours. During the question-and-answer session on consumer rights topics, she familiarized the students with the rights and responsibilities of a consumer regarding the return policy as per the Consumer Protection Act 2014.

Basiru Njie, an economist from the Competition Department, explained The Gambia Competition Act 2007 to the students, highlighting how it fosters competition among businesses in the country. Njie also disclosed how the commission works to prevent anti-competitive practices in the market, providing a comprehensive definition and examples of business competition and its advantages for consumers.

Advocacy and Information Officer Muhammed Lamin Drammeh stated that the massive awareness campaign will run through the next quarter of the year. He added that this is the first activity and they will be visiting major markets in the country to sensitize consumers and businesses on their rights and responsibilities. Drammeh underscored the importance of the engagement, stating that engaging with university students was exceptionally essential. He expressed confidence that the students now comprehend competition and consumer rights as per the acts and understand how competition among businesses can boost the country’s economy.

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Drammeh also mentioned that the fifty-five students engaged will now be able to advise or report consumer rights violations issues as well as anti-competitive activities.

This engagement session, attended by about 55 students from the University of The Gambia’s social science department to enhance their awareness of the commission’s mandates, especially among tertiary students, is a crucial part of the commission’s advocacy strategy for this year.

The Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is a statutory authority under the purview of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. It is also the body responsible for the promotion and protection of consumers mandated by the Competition Act 2007, the Consumer Protection Act 2014, and the Essential Commodities Act 2015.

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