The Federal Government has commenced moves to tackle unfair business practices, in its determination to provide a fair and competitive environment for industry, trade and investment.
In view of this, the implementation of a new Competition and Consumer Protection Policy that will address the various trade concerns and provide a level-playing ground for businessmen in the interest of consumers, in particular, and the
economy at large, will begin soon.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday, noted that the new policy would forestall the emergence of private monopolies and cartels, engender fair trade and ensure that Nigerian consumers get value for their money.
Aganga spoke during the formal presentation of the Draft Competition and Consumer Protection Policy to Ministries, Extra Ministerial Agencies, Organised Business Communities and State Governments in the Northern part of Nigeria.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Abdulkadir Musa, Aganga said: “In line with the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, and with the ongoing reforms in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, the Federal Government saw the urgent need, as is consistent with global trends, for a robust legal and regulatory framework to govern consumer protection and competition that would underpin the reforms.
“This will in turn, forestall and/or minimise the emergence of private monopolies who would replace the public monopolies that the government was moving away from.
“The government of President Goodluck Jonathan, in realisation of this vital missing link, has in the past two years, worked assiduously to provide a new legal and regulatory framework for competition and consumer protection.
“The needs and benefits of a national policy for competition and consumer protection are many. These include encouraging enterprise, innovation, efficiency and widening of choice. “This will in turn address cartel like entities, anti competition tendencies, protect the investing public and consumers; enable consumers to buy the goods and services they want at the best possible price; thus contributing to the country’s national competitiveness.”
According to the minister, there is currently a draft Federal Executive Competition and Consumer Protection Bill being considered by the Federal Executive Council for onward transmission to National Assembly for passage into law.