Regional Training Workshop on Competition Law Enforcement (Anglophone countries)

Regional Training Workshop on Competition Law Enforcement (Anglophone countries)

January 13-15, 2010, Abuja, Nigeria

In Media

West Africa: Ecowas, NGOs Trace Root of African Poverty
Daily Independent, Nigeria, January 17, 2010

Abuja — Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and two civil society organisations have blamed continued poverty scourge and underdevelopment of most African countries on inadequate competition law and policy.

ECOWAS Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International and Consumer Empowerment Organisation of Nigerian (CEON) made this observation at a regional training workshop on competition law enforcement in Abuja at the weekend.

They noted that adequate competition policy and law are momentum to economic development of any economy.

According to CUTS International’s Centre Coordinator and Deputy Head, Rijit Sengupa, over 100 countries, both in developed and developing economies, have already adopted competition law and policy, while others are considering or are in the process of developing the policies.

Competition policies are government measures that affect competition, by directly affecting the behaviour of enterprises and the structures of industries.

Rijit stated that competition policy basically covers two elements, one of which involves putting in place a set of policies that promotes competition in local and international markets.

This particular set of policies, he said, enables a relaxed industrial policy, liberalised trade policy, easy exit and entry conditions, reduced controls and greater reliance on market forces.

The second element which he considered most critical includes legislations, judicial decisions and regulations that specifically aim at preventing anti-competitive business practices, avoiding concentration and abuse of market power.

He said “although competition law is part of competition policy, the majority of countries started with the adoption of competition laws without any competition policy in place.”

Rijit said the most common immediate objective of competition policy has been to protect the process of competition and free market access.

This, he said, is achievable through prevention and elimination of monopolies, monopolistic practices and other restrictions for the efficient functioning of markets to attain economic efficiency in production.

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Consumer Rights: ECOWAS, Stakeholders Seek Law Enforcement
THISDAY, Nigeria, January 15, 2010

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other stakeholders Wednesday in Abuja, spoke on the need for a reliable competition law enforcement to guide against the reckless abuse of consumers rights.

This was stated at the on going regional training workshop on Competition Law Enforcement organised by the Consumers Empowerment Organization of Nigeria (CEON) in conjunction with the Centre for Competition Investment and Economic Regulation to sensitize government agencies and individuals on the need to enact laws that curtail anti-consumers rights.

While declaring the seminar open, the Coordinator General, Adedeji Babatunde said, “the purpose of the workshop is to equip participants on the implementation from government agencies from selected countries of West Africa with necessary skills and knowledge on competition issues”

He further urged participants to explore opportunities of the workshop to acquire necessary skills needed that would enable them to contribute effectively towards evolving effective national competition regimes in their respective countries.

On his part, the ECOWAS representative and Programme Officer Trade and Competition, Dr Seydou Sacko observed that, ECOWAS was poised to encourage member countries to enact enabling laws that will nip in the bud cases of anti-consumers rights, the best to start is by enforcement of competition laws, this will also lead to more economic growth in the sub-region”, he said.

Also, representative of CUTS International, Rijit Sengupta stated that, “the workshop is to brainstorm the relevance of competition laws as regard global trade”, adding that: the West African region must brace with cogent laws to will protect consumers as well as promote economic growth”.

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