The Consumer Protection Bill of 2020 becomes law

Thursday 6th August 2020, the parliament of the republic of ratified the country’s consumer protection act that should ensure the rights of the consumers in the country.

The ratified act aimed at providing protection and promote the interest of consumers and as well as providing the legal framework for the government to create a National Consumer Commission that will advocate and fight for the rights of consumers.

According to a report, the tabled bill which has since become law was sponsored by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Edward Hinga Sandy and other relevant associates. Dr Hinga informed parliament that the objective of the new act is to enhance the protection and rights of the consumers in a free market economy. These laws he further claimed will address issues surrounding a restricted market and an open market while protecting and respect the consumers in Sierra Leone.

The Chairman of the Legislative Committee, Hon. Hindolo M. Gevao presented the Joint Report of the Legislative and Trade Committees. He mentioned to fellow MPs that both the Trade Committees and Legislative put forward the amendments to the act after consulting and receiving input from Standard Bureau and Traders’ Unions who were present during the successive presentations in parliament.

Hon Gevao revealed that the Committees spent several days to amend and scrutinize the clauses, fines, and penalties on culprits, service delivery and safety, consumer protection, and composition of the Consumer Protection Commission Board.

The chairman told colleague MPs that the Report reflects a consensus of Honourable Members of both Committees who formed part of the deliberations. The Bill was passed into law with some amendments after the Chairman of the Legislative Committee, Hon. Hindolo M. Gevao finished his presentation.

With such laudable exercise carried out successfully, the other expected task that should ensure the law becomes effective is will be, to see the public receiving the right education and publicity about the law. Citizens must be enlightened about their consumer rights and obligations.

By Kemurl Fofanah [SLNBCC]