National Training Workshops (NTW)
April 12-14, 2010, Nigeria
Stakeholders Benefit From a Three Day National Training Workshop on Competition Policy and Law Issues in Nigeria
Nigeria, April 14, 2010
Some key stakeholders with critical roles to play in competition reforms in Nigeria from the civil society, government departments, sector regulators, and the media benefited from a three day National Training Workshop (NTW) on competition and law issues organised by CUTS International, Consumer Empowerment Organisation of Nigeria (CEON) and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) of Nigeria at the Rockview Classic Hotel, Abuja on the 12th -14th April, 2010.
The training programme covered general issues such as introduction to competition policy and law, the benefits from competition policy and law, the interface between competition policy and sector regulation, as well as introducing participants to specific issues on competition enforcement such as horizontal and vertical restraints, abuse of dominance and unfair trade practices.
The training was conducted through the assistance of international resource persons with experience in competition law enforcement. These included Mr Gerald Gregory, an expert from the United Kingdom, who is also a former employee of the Office of Fair Trading; Ms Neo Chabane, Principal Analyst in the Enforcement and Exemptions Department under the Competition Commission of South Africa and Mr Cornelius Dube of CUTS.
There was an encouraging response from the participants, who could easily relate the various examples on anticompetitive practices to what is obtaining in Nigeria at the moment without a competition law. Examples were given, including situations where domestic flight operators sit down and agree on fares to charge and then announce the meeting and what was agreed in the press without any fear. An example on tied selling was given where consumers in the soft drinks market were not allowed to buy only one brand, e.g Coke when purchasing in bulk but had to also ensure that they mix bands to include Fanta, etc even when they were not interested. On the benefits of competition, an example was given in the mobile sector where Econet and MTN were refusing calls from consumers to introduce per-second billing, saying that its not feasible to do so, but since the entrance of another company, Glo, which was doing per-second billing, the two are also now doing the same, and customers are benefiting.
The media representatives who were trained also promised that the training programme would mark a turning point as far as reporting on competition distortions is concerned. Currently, the focus was largely on consumer issues simply because they were not aware of competition issues. They would also expect to get more material on competition issues from CUTS so that they would constantly refer to it in their reporting. They would also benefit from regular updates on international developments in the field of competition, and they all requested for CUTS to add them to membership of the Competition Online Forum (COLF).