Mr Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has implored members of the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal, to work with the commission to achieve its mandate.
He said that the commission was established not to disrupt, but to rather promote businesses, charged the members of the tribunal not to dwell on technicalities in the discharge of their judicial functions.
“You must avoid such, because if you fall into that trap, your work is doomed, and the country will suffer on account of it.
“I was inspired by the tribunal’s objectives that the chairman read out, including drafting rules and procedures for dispute registration. It is a huge challenge, but it is surmountable.
“If you institutionalise a good process, you will produce a good product, “he said.
He urged members of the tribunal to be courageous and assertive and not to appear weak to boost Nigerians’ confidence in the process.
In her opening remarks, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Mrs Saratu Shaffi, said that setting up of the tribunal was timely, as the competition and consumer protection index had become a global tool for assessing the investment potentials of any country.
“The consumer protection index also determines the rate of foreign direct investment and accelerate the ease of doing business, as all of these have implications for national economic growth and development.”
According to Shaffi, Nigeria stands at 125th position in the global competition and consumer protection index.
“With the launch of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) to replace the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and joining the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA), it has become our duty to safeguard fair compensation and ensure the protection of Nigerian consumers.”
She said that the retreat would afford members of the tribunal an opportunity to develop a vision and mission statement, establish core values and set out goals to be achieved within the tribunal’s tenure of five years.
She gave the assurance that the tribunal would stem antitrust issues and guarantee consumer satisfaction through the exercise of its judicial duties.
She added that the tribunal was determined to have results within six months when it begins sittings.
Speaking with newsmen, a member of the tribunal, Mrs Sola Salako-Ajulo, assured of the tribunal’s readiness to work with other regulators and assured consumers of getting justice within the shortest possible time.
“With the tribunal, you can actually get your matter taken up and attended to, within the shortest possible time.”
Salako-Ajulo maintained that decisions of the tribunal were enforceable, as all judgements were registered at the Federal High Court.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tribunal was established under provisions of Section 39 of the FCCP, Act 2019, with the mandate to adjudicate over conducts prohibited under the Act. (NAN)