In his first Consumer address to the United States Congress in America in 1962, the then American President, J. F. Kennedy, spelt out four basic rights of the Consumer, they include:-
- The right to Safety
- The right to be Informed
- The right to Choose and
- The right to be Heard
Should all these rights of the Consumer be respected, the Consumer-Seller relationship in a marketing environment will be perfect. This, however, is hardly the case.
- WHO IS A CUSTOMER?
Oluwatosim (2000) attempted a definition when she expressed the view that “the objective of every firm and the aggregate goal of the economy is to reach a target population known as the consumer”. Furthermore she opined that “the Consumer is the final recipient of the output of the production process. Production in terms of goods or services, and in the economic life cycle, every sector constitutes consumers of one end product or another”.
Finally she concludes the definition by saying that “ everybody is a consumer.”
- THE CUSTOMER-SELLER RELATIONSHIP
The ultimate desire of any Customer, in patronizing the Seller, is the achievement of customer satisfaction. Business, in an attempt to make profit at all costs often violate the code of marketing ethics which gives the customer the four rights listed above viz Safety, Information, Choice and Fair-hearing; thereby creating the need for entrenchment of measures aimed at giving the customer some respite in the course of his business dealings with the other party.
Under these circumstances, it is apt to quickly look up to the Government for rescue, but (Gill 1973, Okeke 1991) observed, albeit ver strongly, that “in most economies, especially free societies, the commitment of government to passing legislations that appreciably compromise business profits is doubtful, perhaps because of the close relationship between economic power and political control”.
Out society today is rife with too many instances where business have openly broken the law without suffering any penalties. Most often those violations of the law are not without the notice of the law makers.
(Davis, 1975) corroborates this assertion when he observed that “even when laws are made, implementation and effectiveness become another thing altogether”. What this implies is the very obvious but painful realization that is is not as if our society lack laws but their implementation.
Kotler (1972) took a historical view and concluded that “consumerism was inevitable in the economic and social development of the United States”. The factors he enumerated for taking such a stand could be seen to be very much present in Nigeria today. The economy is advancing, educational level is rising with tremendous advancement in technology. These factors are expected to create economic, social and political discontents which could eventually become the precipitating factors for mobilizing consumers for action.
When consumers rise and come up to their own rescue past antecedents show clearly that their approach is in two directions. Okeke (1990) has identified these two directions to include defensive and existential consumerism.
- what is consumerism
Kotler (1984) defined consumerism to simply mean an “Organized movement of concerned citizens and government to enhance the rights and power of buyers in relation to sellers”
- statement of the problem
The Capital Market constitutes only a section of the Nigerian financial system, but a very important one at that, as the long term growth, development and stability of the economy depends on it.
It is in the Capital Market that Government (Federal, State and Local) corporate bodies and multinational organizations raise the funds they require for long term developmental purposes.
The Capital Market mobilizes funds (which customers have put together by way of their investments in securities) and makes them available to Government and organizations for development puirposes at a fee. Such fees are usually lesser than what obtains in the Money Market and repayment terms are more convenient, being spread over longer periods.
In the course of their investment in the Capital Market, Customers (investors) take risks which often results in loss of investments.
In an overview of the economic performance of the Nigerian economy in 1994, (Abara, 2000) stated that statistics have shown that about N2.1 billion was lost during that period through the financial recklessness of “funky” finance houses, one of the key operating arms of the Nigerian financial system.
He went further to say that “the bubble has burst and the decision would all be yours:- it is either you are chasing high-yield on your investment with the attendant high risk or moderate and appreciating interest on your investment that will guarantee safety and confort”.
The above assertion leaves the customer in the cold with his hard earned investible fund; standing the risk of losing or retaining it depending on which way the market turns irrespective of his decision.
In the course of investing in securities, investors have suffered losses due to:-
- Monetary Instability which results in losses to the investor due to fall in the value of money generally because such investors do not have access to investments in safer and more profitable securities.
- Inflation which results in losses to the investor due to increase in prices of goods and services and their ignorance as to when to trade-in their shares for cash (selling) or retain them.
- Inefficient and uncompetitive Stock Market which has cost the investor his hard earned resources due to market rigging, insider dealing, market manipulation, false trading, inducement of dealings, stealing of share certificates, unauthorized transfer of investors securities primarily due to fact that the such investors do not know how to seek redress neither are they aware of the existence of investor protection policy of the Nigerian Stock Exchange for investors in the Nigerian Capital Market, the extent of Protection offered by there policies and alternative ways of protecting their investment.
- OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Against this background, this study has become increasingly necessarily in our Economy due to their numerous unjust, unethical and unprofitable treatment customers have received while investing their hard earned resources (unprotected) in Securities in the Nigerian Capital Market.
To this end, this study aims among others to achieve the following objectives.
- Furnish useful information as to how investors in Securities in the Nigerian Capital Market can be saved the agony of lost resources due to investment in non performing securities.
- Determine the existence or otherwise of any Customer Protection Policies by the Nigerian Stock Exchange for investors in the Nigerian Capital Market with specific reference to awakening their consciouseness as to how to respond to fluctuations in monetary policies, inflation and price movements. Know when to sell or retain their shares.
- Determine the extent of Protection that their policies offer the average customer in the Nigerian Capital Market with measures for protection of investors in the Nigerian Capital Market.
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
- H1 Customers of the Nigerian Capital Market are aware of its protection policies.
- Ho1 Customers of the Nigerian Capital Market are not aware of its policies.
- H2 Customers of the Nigerian Capital Market are protected by the Customer protection Policy of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
- Ho2 The Customer Protection Policy of the Nigerian Stock Exchange does not protect customers of the Nigerian Capital Market.
- H3 Customer of the Nigerian Capital Market have access to the safer and more profitable investment.
- Ho3 Customers do not have access to safer and more profitable Investment in the Nigerian Capital Market.
- H4 Customers have other ways of protecting their investment in Securities in the Nigerian Capital Market.
- Ho4 Customer do not have alternative ways of protecting their investments in the Nigerian Capital Market.
1.8 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is particularly relevant to the:-
- Growth and development of the Nigerian economy throug increased mobilization of investible funds from the Nigerian Capital Market as a consequence of increased confidence in Capital Market by investors.
Capitalization of the Capital Market as a consequence of increased patronage due to increased confidence.
- Accelerate the technological expansion of Nigeria as a result of increased performance of Industries due to availability of cheaper funds from the Nigerian Capital Market for developmental purpose.
- Reduce the social vices of fraud in the Nigerian |Capital Market due to increased awareness of Investors.
- Make the Nigerian government come to address the issue of customer protection in the Nigerian Capital Market much more seriously
- Recommendation of the establishment of “do-it yourself” customer protection phenomenon for investors in the Nigerian Capital Market.
1.9 scope and limitations of the study
Much as it would have been desirable to touch on all issues related to the subject of this study, the constraints of time, resources and other logistics problems have made it necessary that the researcher’s effort should be specifically channeled to a few selected and possibly recommend other relevant areas for further stuffy.
To this end, this study will among others be limited to be following areas:-
- Examination of the Nigerian financial system
- The structure of the Nigerian Financial
- Key players in the Nigerian Capital Market including, but not limited to.
- The Nigerian Stock Exchange
- The Securities and Exchange Commission
- The Central Securities Clearing System etc.
- Examination of Stock Market legislation Stock Trading. Types of Securities traded, Types of Shares Traded, Market regulation. Upholding Capital Market Integrity, Internet Trading, the Investor protection function of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Trading systems and other Stock Exchange transactions.