by Tobechukwu Ndunagu, Associate
Let’s imagine designing a country from scratch. Suppose the brief was to design ‘Richland’: a wealthy and prosperous country. What would be the chief characteristics you need to build into this country? What would a country ideally suited to succeed in modern capitalism look like? Traditional economics guides us to eight (8) core requirements for Richland: Military security and law and order; lack of corruption in institutions; low amounts of red-tape around employment, legislation, and taxation; a technically, well educated, mobile, flexible labour-force; high-grade infrastructure and good telecommunications; fair, transparent, and competitive markets; reliably enforceable contracts; and low corporation tax (probably between 10%–15%).
Many Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora firmly believe that Nigeria can—and should be—Richland. Towards achieving economic prosperity for the country, government has taken a commendable step in developing a fair, transparent, and competitive market by passing a new bill into law, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (“FCCPA” or “the Act”) on 6 February 2019. Before the FCCPA was enacted, there was no comprehensive legislation regulating competition in Nigeria. Before now, competition was regulated through sector-specific laws such as the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005, Investment and Securities Act 20072, Nigerian Communications Act 2003, etc.
But is the FCCPA going to open the gateway to a more competitive Nigerian economy? To answer this question, it is vital to consider the scope and application of the Act, the regulatory framework, control of competition and merger, consumer-protection rights, and enforcement mechanisms under the Act.
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