• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Players in the power sector, manufacturing sector, and digital space may experience stricter regulations in the interest of consumers in 2023, Babatunde Irukera, vice chairman and chief executive officer of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has said.

Irukera said there would be more collaboration, especially with Standards Organisation of Nigeria and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control to deepen its regulatory authority.

He indicated that the FCCPC had towards the end of 2022 embarked on further investigation and scrutiny of the power sector, fast-moving consumer goods and the activities of digital lenders and unravelled major irregularities that have laid foundation for the areas the organisation would focus in 2023.

He was quoted as saying in a statement that the agency has started unbundling more of its regulatory tools to create room for penalties in the months ahead.

“Towards the end of last year, FCPC opened an investigation into the activities of some of the biggest importers of power generators in the country and we made headway in sanitising the area. In particular, the commission has so far tackled cases of wholesome practices across consumer goods, digital economy, and some other sectors,” he said on Arise Exchange, a special business report section of the Arise News, on Monday.

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He said the FCCPC has discovered some irregularities in the activities of the alternative power-generating companies and players in the fast-moving consumer goods sector.

Irukera said: “Through investigation and intelligence gathering, FCCPC concluded that there were some anti-competitive practices in some sensitive industries such as power; especially the alternative power generating sector.

“We found out that there’s some level of coordination among big players who play in the 20 to about 200 KVA generators with shady deals. There were questions about how they were procuring the equipment and what they were importing, issues about duty-free weaver or using it to also import spare parts which are prohibited, and whether they were procuring for themselves, or essentially engaging in illegal transfer pricing.”

He disclosed that the court granted the commission a warrant of search and seize and it executed the warrant simultaneously.

He added that the FCCPC has since begun to analyse the evidence, pointing out that some of the allegations have already been confirmed.

Irukera also disclosed that the last quarter of the year also saw the commission beaming its searchlight into the activities of the digital lenders, adding that even though the exercise is still ongoing, a framework has been put in place.