Coalition Pushes for Early Passage of Competition Bill

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Eromosele Abiodun and Marry Ekah
A private sector coalition comprising  the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and other business membership organisations have called for the immediate passage of the Competition Bill currently before the National Assembly.
The coalition stated this yesterday when they paid a courtesy visit to the Corporate Head Office of THISDAY Newspapers in Lagos.

The leader of the coalition, Leonard Ugboaja, stated that a country like Nigeria that is transiting from public sector domination to a private sector driven one, needs such law to stop abuses.
He called on all Nigerians to support and the part of the public hearing on the competition bill coming up on May 31.

The bill, he stated, would among other things, promote job creation and attract foreign and local investors to invest in the country.
According to him, “Competition policy sets out the broad vision of measures aimed at promoting and regulating competition in the economy. Competition is good for every economy and is mainly the logic behind private sector led market economic model. In an economy like Nigeria that is transiting from public sector domination to a private sector driven one, competition does not just happen.

There must be some policy measures to promote competition. Such measures include privatisation of state owned enterprises, deregulation of otherwise regulated monopolies and progressive liberalisation of trade.”

He added: “Competition policy sets out the goal of promoting competition in the economy. It can be contained in a distinct policy document or runs through several sector specific policy documents.

Broadly speaking, competition policy runs through such policy areas as trade and industrial policy, investment policy, privatisation and deregulation policy, consumer protection policy. Competition law sets out the rules that regulate that regulate the operation of commercial entities within the economy so as to ensure that virtues of competition are not impeded.”
Nigeria, he added, has gone through the first stages of enthroning a competition culture but stopped the journey half way.

This, he stated, has caused all manner of distortions in different sectors of the economy, adding that this was why the private sector needs to advocate for the necessary regulatory framework to ensure that competition is promoted and properly regulated in the different sectors of the nation’s economy.