OrderPaperToday – Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has decried a lack of regulatory framework to guide operations of the economy with respect to competition in a liberalized environment.

Dogara said this while declaring open a public hearing by the House Committee on Commerce on two consolidated bills: The Federal Competition (Establishment) Bill, 2015  and A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Consumer Protection Act, CAP. C25, LFN, 2004; Establish the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and for Other Related Matters.

Speaker Dogara stressed the need to ensure “fairness in our economic activities has always been part of Nigeria’s economic goals and it is therefore very surprising that almost three decades after the first serious attempt to liberalize the Nigerian economy, appropriate legislation is still lacking in this area.”

According to him, major sectors of the economy – telecommunications, power, aviation, petroleum, railway, etc which were public sector driven did not require much regulations on competition because of their being monopolies.

He said: “It is common knowledge that government ownership of enterprises, promoted wide spread corruption and inefficiencies which inhibited economic growth.

“Following the gains recorded by the privatization and commercialization policies of successive governments, aspects of the Nigerian economy has been fairly liberalized.

“The government has taken a back seat in business and economic matters so as to restrict itself to regulation. In a bid to put the private sector in the driver’s seat of the economy as the engine of growth, the government must provide a level playing field for all who wish to participate in developing the economy.

“It has therefore become imperative for a proper legal framework to be introduced to regulate competition and ensure that both public and private interests in business activities are protected.”

Dogara concluded by saying the “proposed competition legislation is a step in the right direction.”

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