404 Consumer Laws & Regulations | Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria

Consumer Laws & Regulations

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority

Civil Aviation (Repeal And Re-Enactment) Act 2006

Section 71 provides

(1)The Authority shall formulate schemes for suitable compensation of
passengers and other aviation and allied service consumers arising from
different forms of grievances.

(2) The regulations under sub-section (1) of this section shall be
formulated after holding consultations with air carriers and other stake
holders.

Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations

Part 19 – Consumer Protection Regulations

Introduction

Part 19 deals with Passengers’ Rights and Responsibilities and Airlines’ Obligations to Passengers. This Part addresses consumer protection issues, including, compensations for denied boarding, delays and cancellations of flights.

19.1 Applicability

19.1.1 This Part prescribes minimum rights and responsibilities of passengers and airlines’ obligations to passengers, where:

(a) There is an incidence of Overbooking and passengers are denied boarding against their will
(b) A scheduled flight is delayed;
(c) A scheduled flight is cancelled and
(d) Passengers fail to discharge their responsibilities

19.1.2 Definitions

19.1.2.1 For the purpose of this part, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) “Aircraft” means any machine that can derive support in the atmosphere from reactions of the air other than reactions of the air against the earth surface

(2) ” Air Carrier” means an enterprise that engages in provision of transportation services by aircraft for remuneration or hire.

(3) “Airline” means any air transport enterprise offering or operating a scheduled international air service.

Note: Nothwithstanding the definitions in (2) & (3) above, for the purpose of this part, the words ‘Air Carrier’ and ‘Airline’ are used interchangeably.

(4) “Assessment” means an initial evaluation of a complaint by the Authority to determine the appropriate means of redress

(5) “Authority” means the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority

(6) ” ” Consumer” means consumer of civil aviation services

(7) “Baggage” means personal property of passengers or crew carried on an aircraft by agreement with the operator.

(8) “Cancellation” means the non-operation of a flight which was previously planned and on which at least one seat was reserved.

(9) “Cargo” which is an equivalent to the term “goods” means anything carried or to be carried in an aircraft or by means of surface transportation including, but not limited to, road or rail vehicles, except mail, or baggage carried under a passenger ticket and baggage check, but includes baggage moving under an Air Waybill or shipment Record. – insert annex definition

(10) “Compensation” means direct and/or indirect monetary and/or non-monetary benefits offered to passengers whose rights have been infringed upon..

(11) “Complainant” means:
(i) An air passenger;
(ii) One or more air passengers, where there are numerous air passengers having the same interest; or
(iii) In case of the death of an air passenger, his legal heirs or representatives making or continuing a complaint.

(12) “Complaint” means an allegation in writing made by an air passenger, a group of passengers or their legal heirs or representatives.

(13) “Confirmed Reserved Space” means space on a specific date and on a specific flight and class of service on an air carrier which has been requested by a passenger, including a passenger with a zero fare ticket”, and which the air carrier or its agent has verified, by appropriate notation on the ticket or in any other manner provided therefore by the air carrier, as being reserved for the accommodation of the passenger.

(14) “Denied Boarding” means a refusal by an airline to carry passengers who hold confirmed reservation and valid travel documentation, although they have presented themselves for check-in and/or boarding at the time stipulated by the airline , on grounds of oversold service.

(15) “Disembarkation” means the leaving of an aircraft after landing, except by crew or passenger continuing on the next stage of the same through-flight.

(16) “Embarkation” means the boarding of an aircraft for the purpose of commencing a flight, except by such crew or passengers as have embarked on a previous stage of the same through-flight.

(17) “Extra Ordinary Circumstances” means any mechanical, technical, operational, climatic, socio-political or any other conditions beyond the actual control of the party involved.

(18) “Fare”: means the price paid for air transportation including all mandatory taxes and fees. It does not include ancillary fees for optional services.

(19) “Foreign Aircraft” means an aircraft other than a Nigerian registered aircraft.

(20) “International Airport” means any airport designated by the Contracting State in whose territory it is situated as an airport of entry and departure for international air traffic, where the formalities incident to customs, immigration, public health, animal and plant quarantine and similar procedures are carried out.

(21) “Liability” means debt of the entity in the form of financial claims on entities assets.

(22) “Mishandled baggage” means baggage involuntarily, or inadvertently, separated from passenger or crew.

(23) “Passenger” means a person in whose name a ticket and a reservation is made and or confirmed and who is eligible to travel upon the stated flight pursuant to that ticket whether the ticket is purchased by the person or not and whether the ticket is zero fare ticket for which no fees or fare is paid.

(24) “Person” means any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, joint state association or body politic and includes and trustee, receiver, assignee, or other similar representative of the entities.

(25) ” Person with Disabilities” means any person whose mobility is reduced due to sensory or locomotor incapability, an intellectual deficiency, age, illness, or any other cause of disability and whose situation needs special attention and the adaptation to the person’s needs of the services made available to all passengers.

(26) “Ticket” means a valid document giving entitlement to transport, or something equivalent in paperless form, including electronic form, issued or authorized by the air carrier or its authorized agent.

(27) “Tour Operator” means, with the exception of an air carrier, an organizer of package travel, package holidays and package tours.

(28) “Unaccompanied Baggage” means baggage that is transported as cargo and may or may not be carried on the same aircraft with the person to whom it belongs. (29) “Unclaimed Baggage” means baggage that arrives at an airport and is not picked up or claimed by a passenger.

(30) “Volunteer” means a person who responds to the carrier’s request for volunteers and who willingly accepts the carriers’ offer of compensatory benefits, in exchange for relinquishing the confirmed reserved seat..

19.2 Scope of Application

19.2.1 This Part shall apply:

(i) to passengers departing from an airport located within the Nigerian territory to another airport within Nigeria;
(ii) to passengers departing from an airport located in another country to an airport situated within Nigeria, unless they received benefits or compensation and were given assistance in that other country;
(iii) to passengers on foreign air transportation with respect to flight segments originating at a point within Nigeria.

19.2.2 In respect of section 19.2.1. of this Part , it shall apply to passengers on scheduled flights including packaged tours, and on the condition that a passenger:

(i) has a confirmed reservation on the flight concerned and, except in the case of cancellation referred to in section 19.7, presents himself or herself for check -in, as stipulated and at the time indicated in advance and in writing (including by electronic means) by the air carrier, tour operator or an authorized travel agent, or, if no time is indicated, not later than two (2) hours before the published departure time; or

(ii) has been transferred by an air carrier or tour operator from the flight for which he or she held a reservation to another flight, irrespective of the reason.

19.2.3 This Part shall not apply to passengers travelling free of charge or at a reduced fare not available directly or indirectly to the public. However, it shall apply to passengers having tickets issued under a frequent flyer programme or other commercial programme by an air carrier or tour operator.

19.2.4 This Part shall apply to any operating air carrier providing transport to passengers covered in Part 19.2.1. and 19.2.2. above. Where an operating air carrier, which has no contract with the passenger, performs obligations under these Regulations, it shall be regarded as doing so on behalf of the carrier having a contract with that passenger.

19.2.5 This Part shall not apply in cases where a packaged tour is cancelled for reasons other than cancellation of the flight.

19.3 "No Show" and Overbooking

19.3.1 A passenger who shows-up on a later date or time other than the scheduled date or time of departure on his or her ticket may be considered for wait-listing on another flight subject to seat availability after meeting the airlines’ requirement(s).

19.3.2 An air carrier may overbook a scheduled flight in contemplation of the possibility of some passengers not showing up for that flight.

19.4 Denied Boarding

19.4.1 An airline shall have the following obligations in the event of an oversold flight:

(i) ensure that the smallest practicable number of persons holding confirmed reserved seat on that flight are denied boarding involuntarily;
(ii) request for volunteers for denied boarding before applying boarding priority.

19.4.2 Any other passengers denied boarding except in accordance with Section 19.4 above, is considered for purposes of this Regulation to have been denied boarding involuntarily, even if the passengers accept the denied boarding compensation. Volunteers shall be compensated in accordance with Sections 19. 8 and 19.9. (Compensation Provision), such assistance being additional to the benefits mentioned in this paragraph

19.4.3 In relation to each passenger solicited to volunteer for denied boarding, no later than the time the airline solicits that passenger to volunteer for denied boarding, the airline shall:

(i) advise whether he or she is in danger of being involuntarily denied boarding and, if so, the compensation the carrier is obligated to pay if the passenger is involuntarily denied boarding ;

(ii) disclose all material restrictions, including but not limited to administrative fees, advance purchase or capacity restrictions, and blackout dates applicable to the offer before the passenger decides whether to give up his or her confirmed reserved space on that flight in exchange for the free or reduced rate transportation.

19.4.4 If an insufficient number of volunteers come forward, the carrier may deny boarding to other passengers in accordance with its boarding priority procedures.

19.5 Boarding Priority Procedures

19.5.1. Every operating air carrier shall establish boarding priority procedures and criteria for determining which passengers holding confirmed reserved space shall be denied boarding on an oversold flight if an insufficient number of volunteers come forward. Such procedures and criteria shall reflect the obligations of the operating air carrier set forth in sections 19.4.1 and 19.4.2 to minimize involuntary denied boarding and to request for volunteers, and shall be written in such manner as to be understandable and meaningful to the average passenger. Such procedures and criteria shall not make, give, or cause any undue or unreasonable preference or advantage to any particular person or subject any particular person to any unjust or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage in any respect whatsoever.

19.5.2. Boarding priority factors may include, but are not limited to, the following:

(i) passengers on urgent medical trips ;
(ii) a passenger’s time of check-in ;
(iii) whether a passenger has a seat assignment prior to boarding ;
(iv) the fare paid by a passenger ;
(v) a passenger’s frequent-flyer status ;
(vi) a passenger’s reduced mobility status, including unaccompanied minors ;
(vii) Families (maximum of two adults) where at least one child is aged five years or under.

19.5.3. If an insufficient number of volunteers come forward to allow the remaining passengers with reservations to board the flight, the operating air carrier may then deny boarding to passengers involuntarily.

19.5.4. If boarding is denied to passengers involuntarily, the operating air carrier shall immediately compensate them in accordance with Sections 19.8 and 19.9; and assist them in accordance with Sections 19.10; 19.11 and 19.12

19.5.5. Every air carrier shall develop and file with the Authority Boarding Priority Procedures consistent with these Regulations.

19.6.1 Domestic Flights

19.6.1.1 For domestic flights, when an operating air carrier reasonably expects a flight to be delayed beyond its scheduled time of departure, it shall provide the passengers with reason(s) for the delay within 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time and the assistance specified below:

(i) after two hours, refreshments as specified in section 19.10.1(i) and telephone calls, SMS and E-mails as specified in section 19.10.2( ;
(ii) Beyond two hours, Reimbursement as specified in Section 19.9.1(i); and

(iii) at a time beyond 10pm till 4am, or at a time when the airport is closed at the point of departure or final destination, the assistance specified in sections 19.10.1(iii) and 19.10.1(iv) (hotel accommodation and transport)

19.6.2 International Flights

19.6.2.1 For international flights, when an operating air carrier reasonably expects a flight to be delayed beyond its scheduled time of departure, it shall provide to the passengers the assistance specified below:

(i) between two and four hours, compensation as specified in sections 19.8.1(i) and Telephone Calls, SMS, E-mails as specified in 19.10.2
(ii) more than four hours, Meal as specified in 19.10.1(ii) and Telephone Calls, SMS, E-mails as specified in 19.10.2 :and

(iii) when the reasonably expected time of departure is at least six hours after the time of departure previously announced, the Hotel accommodation assistance as specified in sections 19.10.1(iii) and Transport assistance as specified in 19.10.1(iv).

19.6.2.2. In any event, the assistance shall be provided within the time limits set out in these regulations.

19.7 Cancellation

19.7.1 In case of cancellation of a flight, the passengers concerned shall:

(i) Be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Sections 19.6. and;

(ii) Be offered assistance by the operating air carrier in accordance with Sections 19.9.1(i) and 19.9.2 as well as, in the event of re-routing when the reasonably expected time of departure of the new flight is at least the day after the departure as it was planned for the cancelled flight, the assistance specified in Sections 19.9.1(ii) and 19.9.1(iii)

(iii) In respect of domestic flights, have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier in accordance with Section 19.10 unless they are informed of the cancellation at least twenty-four hours before the scheduled time of departure ; and

(iv) In respect of international flights, have the right to compensation by the operating air carrier in accordance with Section 19.10, unless:

(a) they are informed of the cancellation at least seven days before the scheduled time of departure ; or
(b) they are informed of the cancellation between three and seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart not more than two hours before the scheduled time of departure and to reach their final destination less than four hours after the scheduled time of arrival ; or

(c) they are informed of the cancellation less than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and are offered re-routing, allowing them to depart not more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and to reach their final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival.

19.7.2. When passengers are informed of the cancellation, an explanation shall be given concerning possible alternative transport.

19.7.3. An operating airline shall not be obliged to pay compensation for cancellation if it can prove that the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken (extra ordinary circumstances will include natural disasters or air traffic control strikes, and to exclude technical problems identified during routine maintenance).

19.7.4. The burden of proof concerning any question as to whether and when the passenger has been informed of the cancellation of the flight shall rest with the operating airline.

19.8 Right to Compensation

19.8.1 Where reference to compensation is made in this section, passengers shall receive at least

(i) 25% of the fares or passenger ticket price for all flights within Nigeria.
(ii) 30% of the passenger ticket price for all international flights.

19.8.2 When passengers are offered re-routing to their final destination on an alternative flight pursuant to Section 19.10 the arrival time of which does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of the flight originally booked:
(i) by one hour, in respect of all domestic flights ;
(ii) by three hours, in respect of all international flights, the operating airline may reduce the compensation provided for in section 19.8.1.by 50%.

19.8.3 The compensation referred to in Section 19.9.1 shall be paid in cash, by electronic bank transfer, bank orders or bank cheques or, with the signed agreement of the passenger, in travel vouchers or other services.

19.8.4 Where compensation is made in voucher, the voucher shall be redeemable at all sales outlets of the air carrier providing the voucher.

19.9 Right to Reimbursement or Re-routing

19.9.1 Where reference to reimbursement or re-routing is made in this section, passengers shall be provided any of the following choices:

(i) immediate reimbursement in cash for domestic flights and reimbursement within fourteen days for international flights, by the means provided for in sections 19.8.3( mode of payment), of the full cost of unutilized ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made , and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger’s original travel plan, together with, when relevant, a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity;

(ii) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity ; or

(iii) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger’s convenience, subject to availability of seats.

19.9.2 Section 19.9.1(i) shall also apply to passengers whose flights form part of a package, except for the right to reimbursement where such right arises under any contractual understanding between the passenger and provider.

19.9.3. When an operating air carrier offers a passenger a flight to an airport alternative to that for which the booking was made, the operating air carrier shall bear the cost of transferring the passenger from that alternative airport either to the airport for which the booking was made, or to another close-by destination agreed with the passenger.

19.10 Right to Care

19.10.1. Where reference to care is made in this section, passengers shall be offered free of charge:

(i) refreshments such as water, soft drinks, confectioneries / snacks ;
(ii) a meal ;
(iii) hotel accommodation ;
(iv) transport between the airport and place of accommodation (hotel or other accommodation).

19.10.2 In addition to section 19.10.1, passengers shall be offered free of charge, two telephone calls, SMS or emails.

19.10.3. In applying this section, the operating air carrier shall prioritize the needs of persons with reduced mobility and any persons accompanying them, as well as to the needs of unaccompanied minors.

19.11 Upgrading and Downgrading

19.11.1 If an operating airline places a passenger in a class higher than that for which the ticket was purchased, it may not request any supplementary payment.

19.11.2 If an operating airline places a passenger in a class lower than that for which the ticket was purchased, by the means provided for in Section 19.8.3, it shall immediately reimburse the difference to the passenger in accordance with the mode of payment within 30 days from the date of travel, plus:

(i) 30% of the price of the ticket for all domestic flights immediately, and
(ii) 50% of the price of the ticket for all international flights within 14 days.

19.12 Persons with Reduced Mobility or Special Needs

19.12.1. Operating airline shall give priority to persons with reduced mobility and any persons accompanying them, unaccompanied minors, and families (maximum of two adults) where at least one child is aged five years or under.

19.12.2 In cases of denied boarding, cancellation and delays ( as specified in Section 19.6) persons with reduced mobility and any persons accompanying them, unaccompanied minors, and families (maximum of two adults) where at least one child is aged five years or under, shall have the right to care in accordance with section 19.10.

19.13 Further Compensation

19.13.1 This section shall apply without prejudice to a passenger’s rights under any contract, statute or any other applicable law.

19.13.2. Without prejudice to relevant principles under any other law, including case law, section 19.20.1 shall not apply to passengers who have voluntarily surrendered a reservation under section 19.4.1(i)

19.14 Right of Reimbursement

19.14.1 In cases where an operating air carrier pays compensation or meets the other obligations incumbent on it under these Regulations, no provision of these Regulations may be interpreted as restricting its right to seek compensation from any person, including third parties, in accordance with any applicable law.

In particular, these Regulations shall in no way restrict the operating air carrier’s right to seek reimbursement from a tour operator or any other person with whom the operating air carrier has a contract. Similarly, no provision of these Regulations may be interpreted as restricting the right of a tour operator or a third party, other than a passenger, with whom an operating airline has a contract, to seek reimbursement or compensation from the operating airline in accordance with applicable relevant laws.

19.15 Correction of misspelt names

Passengers shall not pay any fee for corrections on miss-pelt names provided it is done 48 hours before the flight.

19.16 Obligation to Inform Passengers of their Rights

19.16.1 The operating airline shall ensure that at check-in, a clearly legible notice containing the following text is displayed in a manner clearly visible to passengers: “If you are denied boarding or if your flight is cancelled or delayed for at least one hour, ask the airline officials for a written statement of your rights, particularly with regard to compensation and assistance.

19.16.2 An airline denying boarding or cancelling a flight shall provide each passenger affected with a written notice setting out the procedures for compensation and assistance in line with these Regulations. It shall also provide each passenger affected by a delay of at least one hour with an equivalent notice.

19.16.3 In respect of illiterate, visually impaired or other persons under disability, the provisions of this Regulation shall be applied using appropriate alternative means.

19.17 Right to Compensation for Delayed, Lost and Damaged Baggage

19.17.1 A passenger shall have the right to his/her baggage carried on the same flight that such passenger takes, subject to the considerations of safety, security, or any other legal and valid cause.

19.17.2 In case a checked-in baggage has been off-loaded for operational, safety, or security reasons, the air carrier shall inform the passenger at the soonest practicable time and in such manner that the passenger will readily know of the off-loading. If the passenger’s baggage has been off-loaded, the air carrier should notify the passenger, even if it had already announced that the baggage would be on the next flight.

19.17.2.1 The air carrier shall carry the off-loaded baggage in the next flight with available space, and deliver the same to the passenger. The air carrier shall immediately tender an amount to the passenger, as compensation for the inconvenience the latter experienced as follows:
(i) For Domestic flights five thousand Naira (N5,000)
(ii) For International flight One hundred and fifty USD ($150)
19.17.3 Should such baggage, whether carried on the same or a later flight, be lost or suffer any damage attributable to the air carrier, the passenger shall be compensated in accordance with the provisions of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Act.

19.17.3.1 For compensation purposes, a passenger’s baggage is presumed to have been permanently and totally lost, if within a period of 7 (seven) days for domestic flights and 21(twenty-one) days, for International flights, counted from the time the passenger or consignee should have received same, the baggage is not delivered to the said passenger or consignee.

19.17.4 Refund of checked baggage fees will also apply, if the baggage is not delivered to the passenger within twenty-four (24) hours from the arrival of flight.

19.18 Exclusion of Waiver

19.18.1 Airlines’ obligations to passengers under these Regulations shall not be limited or waived, notably by a derogation or restrictive clause in the contract of carriage.

19.18.2 If such a derogation or restrictive clause is applied in respect of a passenger, or if the passenger is not correctly informed of his rights and for that reason has accepted compensation which is inferior to that provided for in these Regulations, the passenger shall still be entitled to pursue any available remedies.

19.19 Misleading Advertising

19.19.1 The Authority shall deem as misleading any advertising or solicitation by an air carrier, tour operator, or an agent of either, for passenger air transportation, a package, or a package component that states a price for such air transportation, package, or package component to be an unfair or deceptive practice, unless the price stated is the entire price to be paid by the passenger to the air carrier, tour operator or agent, for such air transportation, package, or package component

19.19.2 Every passenger shall, before purchasing any ticket for a contract of carriage by the air carrier or its agents, be entitled to the full, fair, and clear disclosure of all the terms and conditions of the carriage about to be purchased. The disclosure shall include, among others, documents required to be presented at check-in, provisions on check-in deadlines, refund and rebooking policies, and procedures and responsibility for delayed and/or cancelled flights. These terms and conditions may include liability limitations, claim-filing deadlines and other crucial conditions.

19.19.3 Every airline shall file all adverts and promotions with the Authority.

19.19.4 No airline, tour operator, or an agent of either shall charge or collect any additional fare (whether taxes, commissions, brokerage fees, administrative charges, or any other fees) from passengers not expressly displayed and described in the marketing material or advertisement.

19.19.5 No airline shall display deceitful departure time at its counter.

19.20 Complaints

A passenger may lodge a complaint with the Consumer Protection Directorate, or any other competent person designated by the Authority, about an alleged infringement of this Part.

19.21 Provision of Information

19.21.1 When requested to provide information by the Authority for the purposes of enforcing this Part, an operating airline shall provide such information as the Authority may specify.

19.21.2 Any information generated by an operating airline in relation to Section 19.20.-1, shall be retained by the airline for a period of not less than two years.

19.22 Complaints Procedure

19.22.1 Every airline shall have a designated officer for the purpose of receiving and resolving complaints from its passengers. Such designated officers may liaise with the Authority where necessary.

19.22.2 Every airline shall submit to the Authority its consumer complaint procedure manual which shall be in accordance with its business module.

19.22.3 A Passenger may make a complaint with the Authority against an airline in relation to the breach of air passenger rights as provided in the Regulations by filling and submitting a Complaint Form (available online and at all airports), after the consumer must have notified the air carrier of such a breach and the complaint remains unresolved.

19.22.4 A complaint shall be made in writing or electronically and transmitted to the Authority.

19.22.5 Every complaint shall be accompanied by:

(i) a copy of the airline ticket (where applicable);
(ii) A copy of the letter to the air carrier stating a claim for breach of air passenger rights;
(iii) any response or responses or correspondence thereto ;
(iv) Any other relevant document(s).

19.22.6 Where a complaint has been made in a representative capacity, the representative shall provide the complainant’s written authority to act on his or her behalf.

19.22.7 Complainants may present a class action before the Authority, but must appoint a representative for the class.

19.23 Assessment

19.23.1 The Authority shall cause an investigation to be carried out on the substance of the complaint and the consideration given by the air carrier within a reasonable period of time after the receipt thereof.

19.23.2 In carrying out any assessment under these Regulations, an officer designated by the Authority shall have all the powers of investigation stipulated in Section 30(4)(i) of the Civil Aviation Act 2006, and in addition may request for submissions to be made by any interested person(s) in relation to a complaint.

19.23.3 The Authority shall amongst other things:

(i) Notify the Respondent that a request has been lodged under these regulations ;
(ii) Require the Respondent to respond to the complaint within 7 days;
(iii) Require the Respondent to describe the procedure it has taken to resolve the matter

19.25 Administrative Hearing Procedure

19.25.1 In the event that the interested parties do not agree to submit to the mediation procedure, the complaint shall be subject to the Administrative Hearing Procedure of the Authority.

19.25.2. If the Authority is of the view that the matter raised in the complaint are those over which any provision of the Act applies, the Authority shall set the complaint for Administrative Hearing.

19.25.3. The Authority shall serve the parties a notice requesting a statement in support of their claim or case together with any evidence in support thereof.

19.25.4 The Complainant shall within 7 days of the receipt of the notice transmit a statement of his case in writing to the Authority and the Respondent together with any evidence to be relied upon.

19.25.5 The Respondent shall within 7 days of the receipt of the Statement of the case of the Complainant, transmit a statement of his case together with any evidence to be relied upon to the Authority and the Complainant.

19.25.6 The Authority shall fix a date for the hearing and shall so inform the complainant and the Respondent.

19.25.7 At every hearing fixed pursuant to these Regulations:

(i) the person who made the complaint, or in whose behalf it was made, and each person to whom a notice was sent and any other person whose presence at the hearing is considered by the Authority to be desirable, is entitled to attend and participate personally or, in the case of a company or a firm, be represented by a person who, or by persons each of whom, is a director, officer, or employee of the company or firm ; and
(ii) a person participating in the hearing in accordance with paragraph (i) above is entitled to have another person, who may be a legal practitioner, or other persons present to assist him.

19.25.8. At every hearing, the Authority shall provide for as little formality and technicality as the requirements of the Act and a proper consideration of the complaint may permit.

(i) Where the complainant fails to appear before the Authority on the date of hearing, the Authority may recommend that the complaint be dismissed for default, or decide it on merit.

(iii) Where the Respondent fails to appear before the Authority on the date of hearing, the Authority would make recommendations based on the available records.

19.25.9. The Authority shall cause such records of the hearing to be made as is sufficient to set out the matters raised by the persons participating in the hearing.

19.25.10.Every complaint shall be heard as expeditiously as possible and a determination made thereon within a reasonable time after the termination of the hearing.

19.25.11. (i) No adjournment of hearing shall be granted by the Authority unless sufficient cause is shown and the reasons for grant of adjournment has been recorded in writing by the Authority ;

(ii) The Authority may make such a decision as to the cost for the adjournment as may be considered appropriate.
19.25.12 The Authority may terminate the hearing after it is satisfied that every person participating in the hearing has been given a reasonable opportunity to state or explain his or its position.

19.25.13. (i) Where the Authority is of the opinion that no provision of the Act, or any Regulations made there under has been violated by the person against whom the complaint was made, the Authority shall make a determination to that effect.

(ii) Where the Authority is of the opinion that any provision of the Act, or any Regulations made there under has been violated, the Authority shall make a determination to that effect and make recommendations as it deems fit and reasonable to ensure that the violation ceases and that the injured party is accorded a reasonable remedy for his injury.

19.25.14 The Authority shall on the basis of any recommendations made pursuant to the hearing, issue a directive which may relate to:

(i) the payment of compensation or restitution to a complainant ;
(ii) the payment of fines and/or penalties ;
(iii) the referral of any persons for criminal prosecution ; or
(iv) any other directive that may grant redress to a complainant.

19.25.15. Every directive of the Authority shall be complied with within 30 days of it being issued.

19.24 Determination of Complaints

19.24.1 After every assessment, the investigator shall make an assessment report and shall make recommendations therein.

19.24.2 Upon a consideration of the assessment report, the nature of the conduct alleged against the Respondent, the extent of the claim by the complainant, public interest and other relevant factors, the Authority shall make a determination in any of the following ways:

(i) the complaint lacks merit pursuant to which the complaint would be struck out ;
(ii) the complaint is of such a nature as to advise the parties to resolve the dispute through mediation ;
(iii) the complaint is of such a nature as to be subjected to the Authority’s administrative hearing procedure set out in Section 19.-25.
(iv) take any other such actions as the Authority may deem necessary.

19.24,3. The Authority shall give notice of its determination to the interested parties.

The Right of Telecom Subscribers

1. Poor Network
  • Poor signal;
  • Difficulty in Communication(hearing and being heard);
  • Dropped calls;
  • Inconsistent connections;
  • Difficulty in recharging credit;

Your Rights

  • To uninterrupted calls
  • To get full value for your calls
  • To be informed by service provider of expected poor network
  • To airtime recharge delay being resolved within 3 hours
  • To delivery of SMS within 1 hour for most phones and 2 hours for smart phones.
  • For all the above you have the right to complain and seek redress
2. Unsolicited Services
  • Unsolicited caller tunes
  • Unsolicited SMS and Email
  • Unsolicited adverts, automated calls and SMS
  • Unsolicited telemarketing.

Your Rights

  • To privacy and safe protection of personal records and data from unauthorized use
  • To be informed and give permission for the use of personal data
  • To reject unwanted communication.
  • To protection from fraudulent, misleading and deceitful information or advertisement or labeling
  • For all the above you have the right to complain and seek redress
3. Unlawful Deductions or Wrong/Non-Transparent Billing
  • Credit wipe off.
  • Billed for poor service or services not rendered.
  • Billed for unsolicited services
  • Billed for received (in coming) communication
  • Have difficulty checking your balance

Your Rights

  • To accurate, clearly worded and organised bills
  • To timely and responsive customer service
  • To action on disputed charges – consumers have a right of notice before any disconnection. Service providers must avoid imposing any disconnection or credit management action regarding any service to which a complaint or billing dispute relates, while the complaint or dispute is being investigated.
  • To be compensated (where experience is not resolved in 2 hours in case of balance checking and 1 hour for reversal of charges for services not rendered)
  • To full disclosures of all terms and conditions in print and electronic forms.
  • For all the above you have the right to complain and seek redress
4. Exploitative Automated Services
  • Difficulty when unsubscribing from offered services
  • Automatic renewal of unsolicited services

Your Rights

  • To receive actual service requested
  • To receive adequate information from Service provider upon your request for particular service(s)
  • To opt out with ease from any communication previously subscribed to–Service providers must provide an easy option to “Opt Out” where the communication originates from the Service provider or its third party business partners.
  • For all the above you have the right to complain and seek redress
5. Unauthorized Sim Swaps/Line Disconnection
  • Unauthorized SIM swaps
  • Wrong barring of registered SIM card
  • Unjustified call barring
  • Wrongful disconnections and reassignment of SIM card

Your Rights

  • To be informed ahead of action
  • To seek reason for action
  • To complain and seek redress if not resolved in less than 2 hours for inconvenience, disruption and losses
  • Recourse to Service provider if SIM swap aids financial fraud
  • For all the above you have the right to complain and seek redress
6. When Internet Service Is Poor
  • Inability to connect
  • Interrupted connections
  • Slow access
  • Crashing access
  • Credit wipe out
  • Data bundle wipe off
  • Drawn into lengthy service commitment unknowingly with difficulty to opt out.

Your Rights

  • To information on the items or service being purchased – the nature, utility, conditions for optimum performance, keep -ability, use-ability or performance quality et cetera.
  • To satisfaction i.e. to obtain worth or value for money
  • To airtime lost
  • For all the above you have the right to complain and seek redress
7. Poor Customer Service
  • Poor and congested access to toll free customer relation lines
  • Delays and long queues at customer centres
  • Distant and inaccessible customer centres

Your Rights

  • To be heard – to get fair, inexpensive and quick hearing of consumer concerns, representations, grievances and feedback.
  • To be educated on customer relations policy and complaint handling process
  • To timely dispute resolution by service providers
  • To polite customer service
  • For all the above you have the right to complain and seek redress

CBN Guidelines for the Regulation of Agent Banking and Agent Banking Relationships in Nigeria

Regulation 15 – CONSUMER PROTECTION MEASURES
Appropriate consumer protection systems against risks of fraud, loss of privacy and loss of service shall be put in place by FIs for purposes of establishing trust among consumers of agent banking services.

15.1 Minimum requirements

The following requirements shall be complied with at all times:

  1. FIs shall establish mechanisms that will enable their customers or users to appropriately identify their agents and the services provided through such agents.
  2. Agents shall issue receipts for all transactions undertaken through them. FIs shall provide their agents with necessary tools that enable generation of receipts or acknowledgements for transactions carried out through agents. In this regard, electronic receipts or acknowledgements are permissible.
  3. Where an agent acts as a receiver and deliverer of documents, an acknowledgement shall be provided for all documents received or delivered by the agent to or from the customer.
  4. A channel for communication of customer/agent complaints to the FIs shall be provided. FIs shall provide dedicated customer care telephone numbers for lodging complaints by their customers. The customers/agents can also use this telephone numbers to verify with the FI, the authenticity and identity of the agent, its physical location and the validity of its agent banking business.
  5. FIs shall establish complaints redress mechanism and shall ensure proper communication of this mechanism to their customers.
  6. All customer complaints shall be resolved within a reasonable time and not later than fourteen (14) days from the date of reporting or lodging the complaint with the FI. FIs shall keep record of all customer complaints and how such complaints are redressed.
  7. An agent shall have signs that are clearly visible to the public indicating that it is a provider of services of the FI with which it has an agency contract. The agent shall not however represent to the public that it is an FI.
  8. In the provision of agent banking services, FIs shall use secure systems that ensure customer information confidentiality.
  9. The customer shall be made aware of the fact that he shall not carelessly store PIN and other critical information or share such information with other parties including agents.
  10. FIs shall establish contact centres to facilitate communication between a customer and the FI.

16. DISCLOSURES

The agent shall display in a conspicuous place on its premises the following:

  1. Name and the logo of the FI.
  2. Banking services offered.
  3. A notice to the effect that services shall be provided subject to availability of funds.
  4. Charges or fees applicable for each service which are payable to the FI by the customers.
  5. The dedicated telephone number(s) through which customers can contact the FI.
  6. The name, telephone numbers and location of the institution’s branch to which the agent reports its agent activities.
  7. On request by a customer, an agent shall show a copy of the approval letter issued by the Central Bank to the FI, a copy of its appointment letter as agent by the FI and the current license for the commercial activity being undertaken by the agent. These documents should be readily available in the agent banking premises.

BRANDING AND ADVERTISEMENT

  1. FIs may choose to brand their agent network service under any brand name. However use of protected words like “bank”, “finance”, “financial institution”, “financial intermediary” or their derivatives or any other word suggesting that the agent is itself an FI is prohibited.
  2. In advertising its agent service network, the FI shall not in any form misrepresent the agent as a financial institution or mislead the public as to the services available at the agent’s premises. iii. An agent shall not brand its premises in a manner that may suggest that it is a financial institution.
  3. An agent shall display its principal’s name and logo in a conspicuous manner and ensure where there is more than one principal the names and logos shall be similarly displayed.

INSURANCE ACT, 2003

Section 35 – Duties of insurers and agents inter se.

  1. An insurer who employs the services of an insurance agent and every person who acts for an insurer in that behalf shall maintain a register showing the name and address of every insurance agent and the date on which his services were employed and, where applicable, terminated.
  2. Where an insurance business is transacted through an insurance agent, the agent shall immediately pay to the insurer any premium collected by him.
  3. An insurance agent who contravenes subsection (2) of this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction for-
    • A first offence, to a fine of N10, 000 or imprisonment for a term of six months;
    • A second offence, to a fine of N50, 000 or to imprisonment for a term of one year; and
    • A third offence, to a fine of N100, 000 or to imprisonment for a term of 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment and in addition he shall be disqualified from being appointed again as an insurance agent.
  4. A person who transacts business as an insurance agent without having been duly appointed commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N100, 000 or to imprisonment for a term of 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment, and in addition, the Court may make an order requiring the person to refund any sums collected by him, while so transacting the business, to the rightful owners or other persons entitled thereto.
  5. n insurer who knowingly or recklessly transact any insurance business with any person mentioned in subsection (4) of this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000 and the Court may make such additional order as to the refunds of the sums involved as specified under subsection (4) of this Section.

Section 50 – Receipts of insurance premium vital to contract of insurance

  1. The receipt of an insurance premium shall be a condition precedent to a valid contract of insurance and there shall be no cover in respect of an insurance risk, unless the premium paid in advance.
  2. An insurance premium collected by an insurance broker in respect of an insurance business transacted through the insurance broker shall be deemed to be premium paid to the insurer involved in the transaction.

Section 51 – Restriction on general increases in premium charged on motor insurance, etc.

  1. No insurer shall either by itself or as a member of an association of insurer make a general increase in the minimum rates of premiums charged or to be charged with respect to any class of insurance business made compulsory by law except with a prior approval of the Commission.
  2. An insurer who makes a general increase otherwise than in compliance with subsection (1) of this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of 10 times the amount of premium charged and received by the insurer or N100,000 whichever is greater.
  3. An insurer who increases rates of premium charged or to be charged with respect to any class of insurance business made compulsory by law otherwise than in compliance with subsection (1) of this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to either of the additional penalties-
    • suspension of its operations in respect of a new insurance business for a period of not less than 6 months or more than 3 years ; or
      • Attendance to claims by foreign loss adjusters.
      • Power of Commission to investigate agents, brokers, and loss adjusters.
      • Receipt of insurance premium vital to contract of insurance.
      • Restriction on general increase in premium charge on motor insurance, etc.
    • Cancellation of its certificate of registration, and in addition to either of the foregoing, the insurer shall refund the excess payment to every person making such excess payment or to other person entitled thereto.
  4. The penalties referred to in subsection (3) of this section shall be imposed by the Commission and an insurer who feel aggrieved may appeal to the Minister of Finance in accordance with the provisions of sections 7 of this Act.
  5. The provisions of this section shall not apply to non-tariff insurance business where premiums are charged according to the risk covered by the insurance policy.

Section 54 – Proposal to contain request for all material facts.

  1. Where an insurer requires an insured to complete a proposal form or other application form for insurance, the form shall be drawn up in such manner as to elicit such information as the insurer considers material in accepting the application for insurance of the risk and any information not specifically requested shall be deemed not to be material.
  2. The proposal form or other application form for insurance shall be printed in easily readable letters and shall state, as a note in a conspicuous place on the front page, that “An insurance agent who assist an applicant to complete an application or proposal form for insurance shall be deemed to have one so as the agent of the applicant”.
  3. A disclosure or representation made by the insured to the insurance agent shall be deemed to be a disclosure or representation to the insurer provided the agent is acting within his authority.
  4. In this section, the expression “insured” includes an applicant for insurance.

Section 55 – Only breach of materials and relevant terms to give rise to a right.

  1. In a contract of insurance, a breach of term whether called a warranty or a condition shall not give rise to any right by or afford a defence to the insured unless the term is material and relevant to the risk or loss insured against.
  2. Notwithstanding any provision in any written law or enactment to the contrary, where there is a breach of term of a contract of insurance, the insurer shall not be entitled to repudiate the whole or any part of the contract or a claim brought on the grounds of the breach unless-
    • The breach amounts to a fraud; or
    • It is a breach of fundamental term of the contract.
  3. Where there is a breach of a material term of a contract of insurance and the insured makes a claim against the insurer and the insurer is not entitled to repudiate the whole or any part of the contract, the insurer shall be liable to indemnify the insured only to the extent of the loss which would have been suffered if there was no breach of the term.
  4. Nothing in this section shall prevent the insurer from repudiating a contract of insurance on the ground of a breach of a material term before the occurrence of the risk or loss insured against.
  5. In subsection (2) of this section, “fundamental term” means a warranty, condition or other term of an insurance contract which a prudent Insurer will regard as material and relevant in accepting to underwrite a risk and in fixing the amount of premium.

Section 56 – No insurance to be made on lives without insurable interest.

  1. A policy of insurance made by a person on the life of any other person or on any other event whatsoever shall be null and void where the person for whose benefit, or on whose account the policy of insurance is made has no insurable interest in the policy of insurance or where it is made by way of gaming or wagering.
  2. A person shall be deemed to have an insurable interest in the life of any other person or in any other event where he still stands in any legal relationship to that person or other event in consequence of which he may benefit by the safety of that person or event or be prejudiced by the death of that person or the loss from the occurrence of the event.
  3. In this section, “legal relationship” includes the relationship which exists between persons under customary law or Islamic law whereby one person assumes responsibility for the maintenance and care of the other.

Section 57- No policies on lives without insetting the names of person’s interest.

  1. A policy of insurance shall not be made on the life of a person or other event without inserting in the policy the name of the person interested in it, or for those whose benefit or on whose account the policy is made.
  2. The provisions of subsection (1) of this section’ shall not invalidate a policy for the benefit of unnamed persons from time to time, falling within a specified class or description if the class or description is stated in the policy, with sufficient particularity to make it possible to establish the identity of all persons who at any given time are entitled to benefit under the policy.

Section 58 – Limitation on amount receivable by person with Insurable interest.

Subject to the provisions of any other written law or enactment, where a person has an insurable interest in the life or event insured, he shall not be entitled to receive from the insurer an amount greater than that of the value of the interest of the person with insured in such life or other event.

Section 59 – Limitation on application of Sections 56-58 of this Act.

The provisions of section 56-58 of this Act shall not apply to the insurance of ships and carriage of goods by sea.

Section 73 – Protection of interest of the beneficiaries.

For purposes of security and the protection of the interest of beneficiaries of retirement and pension schemes, such schemes shall be adequately insured with an insurer registered under the provisions of this Act, and it shall be the sole responsibility of the insurer to protect such funds for the absolute benefit of such beneficiaries.

Section 74 – Advertisement

  1. The Commission may, with the approval of the board, make regulations as to the form and contents of insurance advertisement.
  2. Regulations under this section may make different provisions in relation to insurance advertisement of different classes or descriptions.
  3. Subject to subsection (4) of this section, any person who issues an insurance advertisement which contravenes regulations under this Section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N100, 000.
  4. A person who in the ordinary course of business issued an advertisement to the order of another person, being an advertisement the issue of which by that person constitutes an offence under subsection (3) of this section, shall not himself be guilty of the offence if he proves that the matters contained in the advertisement were not (wholly or in part) devised or selected by him or by person under his direction or control.
  5. For the purposes of this section an advertisement issued by any person on behalf of or to the order of another person shall be treated as an advertisement issued by that person, and for the purposes of any proceedings under this section an advertisement inviting person to enter into contracts with a person specified in the advertisement shall be presumed unless the contrary is proved to have been issued by that person.
  6. In this section “advertisement” includes every form of advertising, whether in a publication or by the display of notice or by means of circulars or other documents or by an exhibition of photographs or cinematography, films or by way of sound broadcasting or television, and references to the issue of an advertisement shall be construed accordingly and insurance advertisement means an advertisement inviting persons to enter into or to offer to enter into contracts of insurance, and an advertisement which contains information calculated to lead directly to persons entering into or offering into such contracts shall be treated as an advertisement inviting them to do so.

Section 75 – Misleading statements, etc

A person who:

by any statement promise or forecast which he knows to be misleading, false or deceptive, or by any dishonest concealment of material facts, or by the reckless making (dishonestly or otherwise) of any statement induces another person to enter into or offer to enter into any contract of insurance with an insurance company commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N100, 000 or imprisonment for a term of 2 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Section 76 – Prohibition of certain rebates.

    1. No person shall offer, either directly or indirectly, as an inducement to any person to take out or renew or continue an insurance contract in respect of any kind of risk to lives and property in Nigeria-
      • Any rebate of the whole or part of the commission payable under this Act ;

or

    • Any rebate of the premium shown on the policy, except such rebate as may be allowed in accordance with the published prospectus or table or the insurer.
  1. A person who offers or receives any rebate otherwise than as provided for in subsection (1) of this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N250,000 and a continuous contravention shall constitute a ground for the cancellation of his certificate of registration under this Act.

Section 78 – Security and development fund

  1. The security and development fund established under the National Insurance Commission Act 1997 shall:
    • be used for the payment of any claim admitted by or allowed against a registered insurer where such claim remains unpaid by reason of insolvency or cancellation of the registration of the insurer ; and
    • Be used to compensate innocent individual third parties permanently disabled or killed by uninsured or unidentified drivers.
  2. The proportion of compensation to be paid in respect of any claim, shall be determined by the Commission.