Paving the path to an enhanced consumer protection for the Nigerian online market: theories and concepts
The development of the Nigerian online market is indeed of great importance. This is especially as it provides enormous benefits to consumers, traders and the economy. The benefits of the online market are as myriad as the challenges that discourage consumers from fully enjoying its potentials. The legal issues include- inadequate consumer protection measures and lack of effective consumer dispute resolution and redress. These unresolved issues have resulted in uncertainty and lack of consumer confidence in the online market; they have also served as disincentives for businesses to adopt fair business practices. In order to facilitate the growth of electronic commerce in Nigeria, these issue have to be resolved urgently through government/legislative intervention. In recognition of the need for a legal framework for the protection of consumers in the Nigerian online market, this article interrogates some of the competing rationales for consumer protection so as to determine what the underlying theory for the development of the legal framework should be. It finally recommends that a hybrid theory, which takes into consideration the inequality of bargaining power and the need to promote consumer confidence and fair business practices, should be adopted.
Keywords: E-commerce, consumer, online market, consumer protection, Nigeria