The President of the Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria, Sola Salako revealed during an interview with Raheem Akingbolu of ThisDay that the lack of a Competition Bill encourages monopoly which ultimately is detrimental to the economy and threatens consumer protection.
She explained why a competition bill is necessary and the efforts made so far to ensure that it becomes an Act of Parliament.
The major objective of businesses is profit making and in order to prevent investors from making extreme profit at the expense of consumers, Ms Salako said that government needs to put certain regulations in place. These regulations will encourage competition in the market place, thereby giving consumers options.
The aim of the Competition Bill is to present structures that will make the market free enough for smaller players thereby encouraging competition and innovation.
“We have to sustain and maintain the marketplace and we have to keep giving consumers choices.” Ms Salako stated.
She went further to highlight the risks involved in a monopolistic society. Monopoly, according to her, stifles competition such that prices can be dictated, poor quality cannot be challenged because there is no choice and consumer service will cease to be a priority.
Ms Salako also revealed that a lot of work has been done in pushing the Competition Bill. She described the document drafted for the bill as “beautiful” and said that the bill will perform a dual duty of fostering competition and ensuring consumer protection. Unfortunately, there are those who benefit from no competition and are fighting against the bill. She however stated that the Consumer Advocacy Foundation will not be deterred by this but will keep putting pressure on the National assembly through productive means till they get results.
“It is in the interest of this government to realise that despite all its efforts to make the economy grow, if you don’t have those checks and balances, the efforts might be in vain.”
The success of the Competition Bill, it was revealed, will be beneficial not only to the consumers, but also to the economy because the competition will lead to more players in the industries, thereby creating jobs and encouraging investment.