FCCPC to collaborate with SON, NAFDAC to enforce regulation, penalties 

By Abimbola Mohammed

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), through Babatunde Irukera, the Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said the commission moved into the 2023 activities with a plan to enforce more penalties.

The Commission boss noted that there would be more collaboration with Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to reinforce its regulatory authority. He, however, hinted that players in the power sector, manufacturing sector and digital space may experience stricter regulations in the interest of consumers in 2023.

Making the call on a programme called “Arise Exchange”, monitored by MARKETING EDGE on Arise National TV on Monday, Mr. Irukera said that FCCPC had, towards the end of 2022, embarked on further investigation and scrutiny of the power sector, fast moving consumer goods and the activities of digital lenders, and unraveled major irregularities that laid foundation for the areas the organisation will focus on in 2023.

According to him, the agency has started unbundling more of its regulatory tools to create room for penalties in the months ahead.

“Towards the end of last year, FCPC opened an investigation into the activities of some of the biggest importers of power generators in the country and we made headway in sanitizing the area. In particular, the commission has so far tackled cases of unwholesome practices across consumer goods, digital economy and some other sectors,” he said.

Looking at the agency’s activities last year and also moving forward on what the plans are to strengthen its operations this New Year, the vice chairman said over the period of several months, the commission was gathering intelligence which has led it to conclude that there were some irregularities in the activities of the alternative power generating companies and players in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods Sector (FMCG).

“Through investigation and intelligence gathering, FCCPC concluded that there were some anticompetitive practices in some sensitive industries such as power; especially the alternative power generating sector. We found out that there is some level of coordination among big players who play in the 20-200 KVA generators with shady deals. There were questions about how they were procuring the equipment and what they were importing. There were issues about duty free waver or using it to also Import spare parts which are prohibited and whether they were procuring for themselves, essentially engaging in illegal transfer pricing,” Mr. Irukera said.

He added that quite a number of investigations were carried out, especially in the FMCG subsector.

“One of the first things we did was that, early in the year, we started engaging the manufacturers about what we consider misleading. For instance, we discovered that they are reducing volume and content without reducing packaging,” he said.

Mr. Irukera also disclosed that the last quarter of the year saw the commission beaming its searchlight into the activities of the digital lenders, adding that even though the exercise is still ongoing, a framework has been put in place.

“On the operators of various digital lending platforms, our stand is that there must be a process and a credible model of operation to enhance sanity,” he mentioned.


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