President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2019, aimed at promoting economic efficiency, maintaining a competitive market in the Nigerian economy, protecting the economy, as well as protecting the interest and welfare of consumers.
Presidential Liaison to the National Assembly (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, in a statement explained that the act establishes the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission as well as the Consumer Protection Tribunal to try violations.
The new act among other things eliminates anti-competitive agreements, misleading, unfair, deceptive or unconscionable marketing, trading and business practices.
It also resolves disputes or complaints, issues directives and applies sanctions where necessary.
According to Enang, “the law is to promote economic efficiency, maintain a competitive market in the Nigerian economy, protect the Nigerian economy, protect the interest and welfare of consumers by providing consumers with wide a variety of quality products at competitive prices as well as prohibit restrictive or unfair business practices in the Nigerian economy.
“This law repeals the Consumer Protection Council Act and Sections 118 – 128 of the Investment and Securities Act.
Further functions of the Commission include, among others to:
(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 regard 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) Create public awareness through seminars, workshops, studies and make available information with regard to the exercise of its powers and performance of its functions to the public;
(g) Regulate and seek ways and means of removing or eliminating from the market, hazardous goods and services, including emission, untested, controversial, emerging or new technologies, products or devices whatsoever, and cause offenders to replace such goods or services with safer and more appropriate alternatives;
(h) Publish, from time to time, list of goods and services whose consumption and sale have been banned, withdrawn, restricted or are not approved by the Federal Government or foreign governments;
(i) Encourage trade, industry and professional associations to develop and enforce in their various fields quality standards designed to safeguard the interest of consumers.