Consumer Rights Advocacy Network has called on the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) to act with caution in handling its disagreement with Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited and the Nigerian Bottling Company so as not to send wrong signal to investors and manufacturing companies operating in the country.

The CPC had last week filed a criminal charge against the two companies and their chief executives for allegedly violating some provisions of the Consumer Protection Council Act.

While stressing the need for the interest of the consumers to be protected, the spokesperson of the organization Mr Lolade Bamidele said that there was a need to balance consumers' interest with that of the manufacturers.

‎He said: "It is imperative that the CPC has to learn that there is a critical need to balance consumer and industry interests through regulation."

The Consumer Advocate, while noting that CPC needs to avoid combative regulation in seeking to protect consumer interest, also enjoined Coca-Cola to immediately address the issues raised by the CPC."‎

He said that both Coca-Cola and CPC are partners and should therefore work together in the interest of the consumers and the country as a whole.

He said: "This scenario is avoidable and would not augur well for the country in the long run. We are appealing to both organizations to sheath their sword, come to a round table and talk things over. That is the only way to promote the interest of the consumers and also to encourage manufacturing companies like Coca-Cola that have supported the Nigerian economy to grow."

He noted that regulators existed because there was an industry to regulate. According to him, it is the duty of the CPC to balance the interest of the consumers with that of manufacturers as these industries help to drive up the economy.

‎"Rather than waste much time and resources on media war, both parties should work together to protect consumers," he added.

He said: "‎We are also aware of the fact that Coca-Cola is already before a Federal High Court in Abuja, one would have expected CPC to allow the case to play out before wielding the big stick."