The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has said that the Bill for an Act establishing Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission as passed by the House on Thursday is aimed at ending the country’s economic recession.
Dogara said this in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Turaki Hassan, on Monday in Abuja.
The passage of the bill followed the amendment and repealing of the Consumer Protection Council Act of 1992.
Dogara further stated that the Public Procurement amendment and Competition Regulation bills also passed by the House were aimed at resuscitating the nation’s economy.
According to the Speaker, competition regulation will impact positively on quality of goods and services as their production engender healthy competition in the economy.
“When you have an economy where key players are not competing but colluding, there is no way that economy can deliver innovation.
“This is because whether you compete or not, you can still sell your products with some kind of good profit, so you are not bothered about what goes on there.”
Dogara maintained that for any market to deliver innovation, it must be competitive.
“The essence of this regulation, is to make our markets competitive in the sense that if you look at our markets be it the telecommunications or the pay TV market, consumers are dealing with a monopoly price.
“The reason is that there is no regulation guiding competition in our markets.”
The Speaker stated that the commission, when established, will stimulate real competition in the market that may lead to lowering of prices and it will also have the capacity to engender innovation.
He also allayed fears that the Bill as passed by the House seeks to punish monopolies or those with considerable market power, saying “that is not the essence of the Bill’’.
“As a matter of fact, some businesses are better carried out by a monopoly, but what the bill seeks to achieve is to punish those who have powers of monopoly.
“The bill also seeks to punish those who have considerable market power in any given market, where they abuse that power,” Dogara said.
On consumer rights, the Speaker said the bill proposes that anyone who violates any consumer rights commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to five years imprisonment or a fine not exceeding N10 million.
Besides, Dogara said that the bill protects consumers as they take the benefits of competition in the markets which will result in innovation and creation of more jobs.
According to him, this is because there will be more lines of business as innovation takes root in the market. (NAN)