The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) to ensure fair competition among operators in the industry.
FCCPC’s chief executive officer, Mr. Babatunde Irukera, said at the ceremony in Abuja that the move would remove bottlenecks and increase effective commerce in the industry.
According to him, both bodies are partners in making sure that consumers are treated fairly, the market operates robustly and ensures that the playing field is level for all in the market, without entry barriers.
According to agency reports, he expressed optimism that the agreement would become operational as quickly as possible.
Irukera commended the council’s approach to work with the commission, describing it as collaborative and supportive.
“For us, consumption is as much about pricing, as it is with disposable income and with satisfaction.
“People are likely to purchase again if they are satisfied and if there is enough money to purchase again; so, we are partners in ensuring that consumers are treated fairly.
“We share the view that shippers are entitled to fair recompense for the work and service they provide and, by the same token, share the view that the interim payers or the ultimate payers for the service they provide are also entitled to a fair value, for money proposition.
“Our work is to find that balance, make sure commerce increases and ensure there are no bottlenecks.
“We will also ensure that those in the business themselves are not bottlenecks to fairness to the citizens of this country,’’ he said.
The executive secretary of the NSC, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, described the industry as a “very sensitive sector” of the economy.
Jime said the council was involved in costs’ modulation to the extent that ultimate benefits to the consumers were guaranteed.
“Cost-effectiveness is the key element of how services are delivered and when competition is properly monitored and consumer-protected, it impacts costs.
“We are sector regulators; we have a common interest and we have to engender a common understanding.
“There is a need to have these kinds of partnerships,’’ Jime said.
The FCCPC had, in 2021, executed a judicial search warrant and order of the Federal High Court, to actively investigate potential anti-competitive conducts in the shipping industry. (NAN)