Anti-Competition Law to the Rescue

As more companies continue to fall victims to anti-competitive tactics, Raheem Akingbolu urges the National Assembly to fast track the passage of the Anti-competition Bill to check unfair practices

national assembly speaker

In a capitalist economy, the driving motivation for participation is profit. So, investors in a capitalist economy have only one goal, which is to make profit. As a result of lack of check and balances due to non-existence of anti-competition law in Nigeria, companies make profit at whatever cost, they don’t care whose ox is gored.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of Brand I, a consumer based research and intelligence company that recently unveiled Consumer Halla, as a portal for provision of relief to consumers, Mr. Tunde Sowofora, the role of government in a capitalist economy is to put structures in place to ensure some level of orderliness and compliance.

He said: “Some business advantages are questionable, they are not just fair and the government has a role to play in a free economy to balance the market in such a way that it protects consumer rights. In today’s market it is sad that some organisation infiltrate the market with substandard products and consumers fall victim without any strong law put in place through which they can seek redress. Yes, we all talk about consumer right, the question is what are the legal structures put in place for consumers to pursue their cases to the logical conclusion when those rights are infringed upon,’’

Speaking to THISDAY on anti-competition law, Fadare Adekanmi, a market analyst, said in a market when government regulates a sector, the same government is expected to have put checks and balances within that sector to prevent investors, stakeholders or other players in that sector from taking undue advantage of whatever weaknesses or vulnerability there might be in the market place.

“That is why one finds that in free economies that are strong and well-coordinated, where people are allowed to play as they want; there are structures that set limits as to how far you can go. That’s where Competition Bill comes in,’’ Adekanmi said.

Speaking on the advantage such policy conferred on brand owners and government, Adekanmi stated that the policy is to prevent investors or players in the market from taking undue advantage of that market to benefit themselves alone.

“Government has come to realise that when one person owns too much of the market, it stifles growth and other businesses cannot thrive within that same sector; the monopolist takes control of everything and dictates what happens. If he sneezes, everybody catches a cold. The whole sector is dependent on one business or one player’s activity or action. That frustrates smaller players from coming into the market place.

‘’ And when those players don’t come into the marketplace, you get a distorted perception of what that market really is. You don’t get to understand how that market can balance because there is no competition. Because nobody is competing with him, he can decide that he wants to make 40 per cent profit and he sets the price to achieve that. And since people don’t have a choice, he is the main guy there. The other guys now take a cue from him because they are trying to survive,’’

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Culled from This Day

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