The Consumer Protection Council (CPC), says competition regulation is key, and an invaluable tool for regulating markets and consumer protection.
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The Director-General of CPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera, said this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
Irukera spoke at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.
Irukera said “competition regulation promotes innovation, small businesses, value for money, fair prices, standards and choice.
“It also provides security and comfort for investors and attracts many others.”
Irukera termed the absence of broad competition regulation in a large vibrant and loyal market like Nigeria as being tragic.
According to him, the absence of competition regulation discourages innovation, start-ups and market entry, but encourages operator conspiracy, collusion and is a market entry barrier.
“It prevents appropriate quality standards, or improvements, choice, and fairness, but promotes exploitation, gouging, and lack of options for consumers.
“Unregulated markets in competition context constitute the otherwise “legitimate” vehicle for both financial and social extortion.
“We must, therefore, free the market for the people, especially the poor whose lives will be more affordable and satisfying when they have choices and pay fair prices.”
According to Irukera, the prerogative of choice, the fairness of price and the possibilities of success in business are the most vital components of the true and real empowerment that our nation needs.
The director-general said that far more than stomach infrastructure or “Okada”/ wheelbarrow empowerment, a well regulated competitive market was what creates entrepreneurs that created jobs.
He further said it promoted an economy which growth was not just in the indices and numbers, but one that provided jobs and translated many from poverty, and resulted in shared prosperity.
“This is what competition does, It is the catalyst for a competitive economy.”