The Director General, Consumer Protection Council, Babatunde Irukera has taken the advocacy for improved consumer protection to the world stage where he emphasised the importance of competition regulation, stating that it is “a key, and invaluable tool for regulating markets and consumer protection.”
The Director General who spoke at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, Geneva, Switzerland, called on world leaders and global industry players to facilitate regulation of competition, stating that “it promotes innovation, small businesses and adds value to money.
He explained that a “well-regulated competitive market is what creates entrepreneurs, who create jobs,” adding that it promotes an economy whose growth is not just in the indices and numbers, but one that provides jobs and truly translates many from poverty, and results in shared prosperity.”
“This is what competition does! It is the catalyst for a competitive economy,” he said.
The civil rights lawyer who turned public servant after over two decades of vibrant advocacy said the implications of failing to regulate competition in a large, vibrant and loyal market like Nigeria is “tragic,” adding that the absence of broad competition regulation discourages innovation, start-ups and market entry, but encourages operator conspiracy, collusion and is a market entry barrier.”
He explained that unregulated competition “prevents appropriate quality standards, or improvements, choice, and fairness, but promotes exploitation, gouging, and lack of options for consumers.”
The Director General said: “Unregulated markets in competition context constitute the otherwise ‘legitimate’ vehicle for both financial and social extortion.”
“We must free the market for the people, especially the poor whose lives will be more affordable and satisfying when they have choices and pay fair prices.
“The prerogative of choice, fairness of price and possibilities of success in business are the most vital components of the true and real empowerment that our nation needs.”