what you need to know about the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act

Buhari
  • The Commission will facilitate access by all citizens to safe products, secure the protection of rights for all consumers in Nigeria.
  • The Act establishes Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal to handle issues and disputes arising from the Commission.
  • It strips the Securities and Exchange Commission of its power to approve mergers and places the responsibility of approving merger transactions on the Competition Commission.

In order to promote economic efficiency, maintain competitiveness in the Nigerian market and protect the welfare of consumers, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill.

The Act repealed the Consumer Protection Act, Cap. 25, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2014 to establish the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal for the development and promotion of fair, efficient and competitive markets in the Nigerian economy.

The Commission will facilitate access by all citizens to safe products, secure the protection of rights for all consumers in Nigeria; and for a related matter, 2018.

  A physically challenged customer leads NLC protest over increase in electricity tariff in Benin).

What is the functions of the Consumer Protection Commission?

According to the Act seen by Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa by Pulse, there are A to Z functions stipulated for the commission. Here’s a look at the important functions include:

(a) initiate broad based policies and review economic activities in Nigeria to identify anti-competitive, anti-consumer protection and restrictive practices which may adversely affect the economic interest of consumers and make rules and regulations under this Act and any other enactment with regards to competitions and protection of consumers;

(b) advise the Federal Government generally on national policies and matters pertaining to all goods and services and on the determination of national norms and standards relating to competition and consumer protection;

(c) report annually on market practices and the implications for consumer choice and competition in the consumer market;

(d) eliminate anti-competitive agreements, misleading, unfair, deceptive or unconscionable marketing, trading and business practices;

(e) resolve disputes or complaints, issue directives and apply sanctions where necessary;

(f) encourage trade, industry and professional associations to develop and enforce in their various fields quality standards designed to safeguard the interest of consumers.

(g) ensure that all service providers comply with local and international standards of quality and safe service delivery; and

(h) cause an offending company, firm, trade, association or individual to protect, compensate, provide relief and safeguards to injured consumers or communities from adverse effects of technologies that are inherently harmful, injurious, violent or highly hazardous.

Key highlights from the Anti-monopoly Act

  • Application

The Act applies to all businesses and all commercial activities within Nigeria and extends any establishment in which the Federal, State or Local Government engage in for commercial purposes or controlling stake. It also applies to conduct outside Nigeria by a citizen of Nigeria or a person resident in Nigeria in relation to the acquisition of shares or other assets outside Nigeria resulting in the change of control of a business, part of a business or any asset of a business, in Nigeria.

  • Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal

It establishes Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal to handle issues and disputes arising from the operations of the Act.

The competition Act prohibits agreements made to restrain competition such as agreements for price fixing, price rigging, collusive tendering etc. (with specific exemptions for collective bargaining agreements, employment, etc.).

  • On Merger and Acquisition

It repeals the provisions of the Investment and Securities Act relating to mergers (effectively stripping the Securities and Exchange Commission of its power to approve mergers) and places the responsibility of approving merger transactions on the Competition Commission.

When considering a merger or a proposed merger, the Commission is empowered to determine whether or not the merger is likely to substantially prevent or lessen competition.

The Competition Commission is entitled by the Act to receive a percentage of all the fees chargeable by other regulators for license applications, processing and issuance.

  • Price regulations

It also empowers Nigeria’s President to regulate the prices of goods and services by order published in the Federal Gazette on the recommendation of the Competition Commission.

  • Sanctions

The Commission can prescribe fines and sanctions for non-compliance. A general fine imposed by this Bill for offences committed by companies is an amount up to 10% of the company’s annual turnover in the preceding business year. culled from pulse.ng

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