By Rohey Jadama
Consumers attending the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Consumer Protection Association of The Gambia (CPAG) and the Foundation Gambia Incorporation – Consumer Rights Protection Centre (FGI-CRPC) have called on the Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to convene a forum bringing together all regulators, policy institutions, private operators and consumer organisations for the purpose of creating a better understanding of their respective mandates and how to synergise and interface in protecting consumer rights and interests.
This was one of the three recommendations that emerged during the question and answer session which immediately followed the formal signing of the MoU by the representatives of the two consumer organisations.
During this interactive session, Mr. Amadou Ceesay, the Executive Secretary of GCCPC, Mr. Kelepha Samba, the Director of Human Resource and Consumer Affairs at the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) as well as Mr. Lamin Camara, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure (MOICI), among others, were at hand to intervene and respond to some of the pertinent concerns raised by the participants from the viewpoint of consumers.
Mr. Ceesay welcomed the suggestion and added that they are planning to organise similar forums with stakeholders.
Another urgent issue that was raised as a consumer concern is the prepackaged food in the market having labels not written in English language and of which the consumers could not be able to understand what nutritional elements are contained in it.
The forum recommended that the appropriate regulatory institution (s) remedy this situation urgently in coming up with regulations to ensure that all such products in the market place are labeled in English along any other langage.
Giving the urgency for CPAG and FGI-CRPC to respond to the expectations of consumers, it was recommended that the two organisations should develop and implement activities of common interests within the remits of the MoU.
Mr. Sulayman Madi Sillah and Mr. Amadou Gaye, Secretary General and Chairperson of FGI-CRPC and CPAG respectively signed the MoU on behalf of their two consumer organisations.