The general regulation of competition and antitrust matters in Nigeria has historically been subject to the regulatory oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), the apex regulator of the securities market in Nigeria. Other sector-specific legislations such as the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, have also attempted to foster competition and regulate antitrust issues to the extent permitted under such laws. However, with the assent of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (the “FCCP Act”) on 30 January 2019, a comprehensive legal framework for the regulation of competition and anti-trust issues in Nigeria has been established. This legislation has been modelled, to a great extent, on the European Union competition law derived primarily from Articles 101 to 106 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
The FCCP Act introduces significant changes to Nigerian law including the repeal of the merger provisions in the ISA 2007 and the Consumer Protection Act, 2003. It also establishes the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the “Commission”), which has the responsibility of initiating broad-based policies, advising the Federal Government on national policies relating to competition and consumer protection, performing adjudicatory roles, eliminating anti-competition agreements, enforcing provisions of the FCCP Act and rules and regulations made pursuant to the FCCP Act. In addition, a Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal (the “Tribunal”), is established and is conferred with the jurisdiction to: (i) hear appeals from or review any decision of the Commission taken in the course of the implementation of any provisions of the FCCP Act; (ii) hear appeals from or review any decision from the exercise of powers of any sector-specific regulatory authority in a regulated industry with respect to competition and consumer protection matters; and (iii) issue orders and make rulings as may be necessary for the performance of its functions under the FCCP Act.