NCPC & Standards Bureau Sign MoU to Ensure Safety of Consumers

National Consumer Protection Commission (NCPC).jpg

By Esther Wright

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Consumer Protection Commission (NCPC), Lawrence Landi Bassie, on Friday 10th May 2024, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Standards Bureau (SLSB), Prof. Yormah, at the offices of the SLSB at Kissy in the East End of Freetown.

Speaking before the signing ceremony, Prof. Yormah gave a brief history of the Consumer situation prior to the establishment of the NCPC. He maintained that in the absence of a well constituted agency to seek Consumer interest, some Civil Society Organizations took advantage of this vacuum, with some of their members and unscrupulous people heckling the business community, leading to compromises and exacerbating corruption.

He maintained that with the establishment of the NCPC, under the leadership of the current CEO, he is optimistic of a change in the consumer space further expressing the view that the signing of the MoU will enhance cooperation between the two agencies and ensure the safety of consumers.

The Standards Bureau, he continued, has the technical know-how and equipment to test the various products in the market and ensure quality products are sold in the market. Prof Yormah warned that despite the fact that the expiry dates on some products may be up to date but they may have perished due to the conditions under which they had been stored.

He stressed that when checking goods, they should be mindful of that fact underscoring how the Bureau is able to address such a circumstance as he expressed delight and pleasure in signing such a cooperation with the NCPC.

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Consumer Protection Commission, Lawrence Bassie, also expressed pleasure in signing the MoU with Standards Bureau, furthering that the fight against substandard goods is not a one man or institution business, but with collaboration with other agencies saying it is a multi-faceted approach. He recalled collaboration with the Bureau in identifying substandard iron rods at Waterloo that led to the closing of three shops.

CEO Bassie stressed that the SLSB has the tech know-how and equipment to test all products in the market, which is their mandate, and the NCPC relies on such data to make informed decisions and take the necessary actions. He noted that NCPC is not wielding a sledgehammer for businesses, but is carefully undertaking a balancing act to ensure that both consumers and businesses are protected, with the former accessing quality products and the latter being devoid of extortion by unscrupulous people in the name of consumerism.

He assured that this partnership will yield the required result of a market free from substandard goods stressing that under his leadership the NCPC will operate on authentic data provided by the SLSB.

The CEO concluded by saying that he is ready to work with all statutory bodies and registered CSOs in the consumer space for a safe market environment where the consumers derive value for money.

Signing the MoU by the Executive Director of the SLSB and the CEO of the NCPC witnessed by members of staff of both institutions formed the highpoint of the event.


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