Consumer Protection: FCCPC cautions oil marketers against anti-competitive practices

*The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission emphasises it has a duty to protect Nigerian consumers from any form of exploitation by marketers, as the agency will continue to engage with stakeholders for compliance

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As its core mandate to protect consumers from any form of exploitation in the country’s economy, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has warned oil marketers to desist from anti-competitive practices in the Nigerian economy.

The Commission said such practices include restrictive agreements (cartels) and abuse of dominance and mergers, which violate the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act of 2018.

ConsumerConnect gathered Barr. Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FCCPC, stated this during a workshop organised by the Commission in collaboration with the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) in Lagos.

Irukera noted that the petroleum industry is very important to the development of the country, and any form of volatility in prices of petroleum products affects other sectors of the economy, The Nation report said.

The Commission has a duty to protect consumers from any form of exploitation by marketers and will continue to engage with MOMAN to enforce compliance, said the FCCPC CEO.

Mr. Olumide Adeosun, Chairman of MOMAN, stated that he believes the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA 2021) presents limitless opportunities for the downstream sector if properly implemented.

According to Adeosun, MOMAN members are committed to adhering to the objective of the FCCPA, which includes promoting and maintaining competitive markets in the Nigerian economy and promoting economic efficiency.

He said they were also committed to protecting and promoting the interests and welfare of consumers by providing them with wider variety of quality products at competitive prices and contributing to sustainable national development.

But the MOMAN Chairman clarified that the Association is not a cartel, and was not involved in the manipulation of the prices of petroleum products especially Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in Nigeria.

He assured of working towards the development of a sustainable downstream sector with members sharing infrastructure, such as depots and pipelines for cost optimisation.

Mr. Clement Isong, Chief Executive Officer of MOMAN, also said the overall goal of the workshop was to sensitise marketers on what constitutes anti-competitive and anti-trust behaviour within the sector.

Isong reminded the participants that the FCCPC exists to protect consumers, saying, collaboration between both parties would help improve service delivery in the petroleum industry.

MOMAN Chief, however, noted that fixing prices for petroleum products by the Federal Government is anti-competitive.

The sector must be liberalised to attract more investments, said Isong.

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