When you elect people into office to represent your interests at the National Assembly, there’s a weight of expectation. It’s only logical to expect that these Nigerian lawmakers tackle your most pressing concerns.
But when members of the House of Representatives got together for plenary on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022, the fate of toilets in Nigeria was one of the pressing issues on the table.
This is a joke, right?
It was even printed on paper and all.
Sergius Ose-Ogun, a lawmaker from Edo State, raised concerns about the quality of toilet disinfectants being sold to Nigerians. The lawmaker told his colleagues that a lot of the toilet cleaning products he buys for his many homes are fake. The ones used for his office toilet at the National Assembly are also apparently fake.
This is the point where you’d think he would’ve started looking suspiciously at his dealer, but that’s not what happened here.
Pictured: Not Rep. Sergius Ose-Ogun
Rep. Ose-Ogun alleged that the manufacturers of the leading toilet cleaning products in Nigeria are cheating Nigerians with ineffective products. And he doesn’t appreciate that toilet cleaning products like Hypo and Harpic don’t work well as they’re made to look in glossy TV adverts. He accused them of living a fake life and cheating Nigerians.
Why’s this important?
In Rep. Ose-Ogun’s own words, “I have different houses and I have bought these products. When I use them I don’t see the same effect as I see on the television. That’s why I say it’s of concern to me. If these people aren’t cautious, they’ll be cheating the public. They don’t have a voice; that’s why we were elected to speak for them.”
We can run through a list of reasons representatives like Ose-Ogun were elected but we’ll take his word for it that this is one of the most important ones. After all, we can’t know what it’s like to be a federal lawmaker.
What’s going to happen now?
Dozens of Rep. Ose-Ogun’s colleagues agreed with him when they voted that this toilet cleaning thing was enough of a problem to take the discussion further. They resolved to hand out invites to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
The FCCPC’s role is basically to ensure everyone in the market plays fair and SON makes sure manufacturers keep products up to standards. The House of Reps is asking these organisations to appear before its Committee on Commerce to justify the presence of these cleaning products in the market.
The lesson to learn from this episode of Nigeria is that lawmakers may not be working hard enough to arrest those skyrocketing cooking gas prices or the soaring double-digits inflation rate, but at least they want to make your toilets look shiny.
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