Why Nigeria is Ripe for a Competition Law

The Bill also seeks to create the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) which will be conferred with the powers, authority and jurisdiction to adjudicate over conducts prohibited under the law. The Tribunal shall hear appeals from or review any decision of the Commission made either directly on any issue or indirectly on any decision from the exercise of the powers of the any sector specific regulatory authority in a regulated industry, in respect of competition and consumer protection matters. Further appeals from the decision of the Tribunal lie to the Federal High Court.

The Future Of Competition In The Nigerian Economy

Recent economic policy reforms have continued to open the Nigerian economy to private sector participation and by necessary implication, increase competition. The 2004 Consolidation Policy executed in the financial sector by the Central Bank of Nigeria (“CBN”) and the National Insurance Commission (“NAICOM”) policy triggered rounds of mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”) in the banking and insurance industries. This was followed by a similar exercise in the Nigerian Capital Market. There are indications that another round of increase in the capital base requirements for insurance companies operating in Nigeria is imminent. This will certainly trigger further M&A deals in the sector.

The power sector privatization has also attracted millions of dollars of investments into electric power generation and distribution. Nigeria’s favorable demographics and perceived purchasing capacity have attracted investment funds into sectors such as manufacturing, health care, real estate, telecoms, banking, and infrastructure. As the economy rebounds, global growth capital is expected to return into the economy, bringing in additional sector players. It is appropriate that the market conduct of these players is carefully and appropriately regulated.