Legal Nigeria

Sanwo-Olu: I’ll continue to protect consumers’ rights

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised that his administration will continue to promote fair competition, protect consumer rights and support growth of small and medium enterprises.

The governor noted his administration will enact right policies to ensure a robust regulatory framework to help businesses thrive.

He told manufacturers to be cordial with consumers and support government in protecting consumers to create an economy for all.

Sanwo-Olu spoke at a conference and exhibition to mark 2024 World Consumer Rights’ Day: ‘Fair and Responsible AI for Consumers’, organised by Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA).

Sanwo-Olu assured Lagosians the government would bridge the gap between producers and consumers to foster good relationship.

He noted an understanding between consumers and producers underscores the symbiotic and interdependent relationship between the two in any economy.

The governor urged consumers and producers to promote enduring partnership and collaboration rather than relationships that could impede sustainable growth and development.

“Consumers and producers are not adversaries but partners in a complex economic ecosystem. While consumers rely on producers to supply goods and services, producers depend on consumer to drive businesses. It is thus for us to have a conducive working relationship where everybody understands and plays within rules so we have a healthy, balanced business ecosystem,” he noted.

Commissioner for Commerce, Cooperatives, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Folashade Ambrose-Medebem, reiterated government’s dedication to protecting consumer rights, especially through responsible use of AI.

She said the Sanwo-Olu administration would create an environment where technology thrives, ‘but not at the expense of people’s rights and well-being’.

She said: “Our governor has been in the vanguard of innovation and advocating consumer rights, ensuring advancements in artificial intelligence and technology enhance lives of citizens, not complicate them.

“The administration’s dedication to integrating technology into economy is matched only by its commitment to safeguarding rights and interests of consumers.

“The journey to fair and responsible AI is a collective one. It requires collaboration of governments, businesses, technologists and consumers. As we forge on, we commit to ensuring that AI serves as a tool for societal goods, enhancing consumer experiences while upholding fairness and ethics.’’

“This administration is dedicated to consumer rights and the responsible use of AI. We pledge to continue working tirelessly to create an environment where technology thrives, but not at the expense of our citizens’ rights and well-being.”

General Manager of LASCOPA Afolabi Solebo noted that AI involves transparency and accountability, ‘and consumers deserve to know how their data is being used, as well as understand the decisions made by AI systems. Hence, developers and companies must prioritise ethical considerations, ensuring that AI benefits the society as a whole’.

He added: “The importance of today’s event cannot be overemphasised given the significance of fair and responsible AI in the day- to- day activities of consumers. We must advocate for fairness in these systems. Fairness entails unbiased algorithms that treat everyone equitably irrespective of their background, race, or socio-economic status.

“AI has revolutionised the way businesses engage with their clientele. Consumers are surrounded by AI-driven technologies, from personalised recommendations to automated decision-making processes. In the rapidly advancing landscape of technology, the integration of AI has become an integral part of our daily lives.

“In the current dispensation, the top AI talent market is diversifying and deepening as major manufacturing- automotive, health, defense, consultancy companies, banks and many others are reinventing themselves as AI-led technology organisations. The ability of these companies to attract and grow their top AI talent is exponential.

“Thus, responsible AI involves transparency and accountability. Consumers deserve to know how their data is being used and have the right to understand the decisions made by AI systems. Developers and Companies must prioritise ethical considerations, ensuring that AI benefits the society as a whole.”

Source:The nation