The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Wednesday, 06 February 2019, assented to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill, now Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2019 (“The Act”). By the passage of the Act, the Federal Government has demonstrated commitment towards the welfare of consumers and the citizens at large.
The enactment of this legislation is a positive step towards consumer protection in Nigeria as it is considered one of the most prolific legislations which promotes consumer confidence, choice and fair pricing of goods and services. The Act among other things, provides a framework for small and medium enterprises to thrive in Nigeria, encourages maintenance of a level playing ground for these enterprises and eliminates entry barriers and operational obstacles which prevent growth, sustainability and profitability.
The provisions of the Act engender the much needed efficient and transparent framework for private and public enterprises to operate on a balanced, meaningful and credible business atmosphere. This would reposition the Nigerian business climate as a leading market in Africa and would create vibrant competition, which is a major tool for expanding economic growth and reducing poverty. Proper enforcement of the provisions of the Act would provide the frontiers for increasing value for money, ensuring adequate consumer protection and expanding economic growth.
The Act therefore promotes Nigeria as a haven for investment having put in place the needed protection for consumers and investors. It promises to be a historic milestone in the economic development of the country and prioritization of Nigerian citizens from both a consumer protection perspective and the standpoint of economic competitiveness.
It is now left to the Consumer Protection Council to deploy every available tool and engage the necessary stakeholders to ensure that the provisions of the Act are strictly enforced for an efficient consumer protection regime in Nigeria.