The Director General, Consumer Protection Council Babatunde Irukera has described competition regulation as a key and invaluable tool for regulating markets and consumer protection.
Irukera, speaking at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Geneva, noted that a well regulated competitive market is what creates entrepreneurs, who create jobs far more than stomach infrastructure or Okada/ wheelbarrow empowerment as it promotes an economy whose growth is not just in the indices and numbers, but one that provides jobs and truly translates many from poverty, and results in shared prosperity.
According to him, that 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.
“In a large vibrant and loyal market such as Nigeria, the absence of broad competition regulation is tragic. It 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 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,” he said.
The CPC boss emphasised that the prerogative of choice, fairness of price and possibilities of success in business are the most vital components of the true and real empowerment that our nation needs.
“This is what competition does! It is the catalyst for a competitive economy,” Irukera said.