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Consumer body seeks regulation of competition to protect consumers

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Director General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Babatunde Irukera

The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has described the absence of a competition law and regulator as one that discourages innovation, economic growth, foreign investment and consumer protection.

According to the agency’s Director-General, Babatunde Irukera, unregulated markets in competition context constitute the otherwise “legitimate” vehicle for both financial and social extortion.

Speaking at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Irukera, in a statement explained that competition regulation is a key and invaluable tool for regulating markets and consumer protection.

He added that such regulations promote innovation, small businesses, value for money, fair prices, standards and choice, while also providing security and comfort for investors and attracts many others.

“In a large vibrant and loyal market such as Nigeria, the absence of broad competition regulation is tragic.

It discourages innovation, start-ups and market entry, but encourages operator conspiracy, collusion and is a market entry barrier.

It prevents appropriate quality standards, or improvements, choice, and fairness, but promotes exploitation, gouging, and lack of options for consumers.

“We must free the market for the people, especially the poor whose lives will be more affordable and satisfying when they have choices and pay fair prices”, he said.

He also noted that the prerogative of choice, fairness of price and possibilities of success in business are vital components of the true and real empowerment that the nation needs.

“Far more than stomach infrastructure or Okada/ wheelbarrow empowerment, a well regulated competitive market is what creates entrepreneurs, who create jobs.

It promotes an economy whose growth is not just in the indices and numbers, but one that provides jobs and truly translates many from poverty, and results in shared prosperity.

This is what competition does! It is the catalyst for a competitive economy”, he added.


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