NECA seeks passage of competition Law.
The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has urged lawmakers to give Nigeria a competition law before the end of this year.
Speaking at a ‘Walk for Competition Bill’ in Lagos, NECA Director-General Mr. Segun Oshinowo said there was nothing to cheer despite the bill passing second reading in the House of Representatives. According to him, there is nothing to cheer, because previous attempts to pass the bill even passed this stage before they were abandoned.
“We, therefore, urge the lawmakers to match words with action and give Nigeria a competition law before the end of this year. We also call on the Federal Government to revisit the Draft Competition and Consumer Protection Policy Document and approve it as a matter of urgency.
“It is this policy that sets out the goal of promoting competition in the economy. We further call on the Federal Government to mainstream competition in broader areas of economic development such as trade and industrial policy, investment policy, privatisation and deregulation policy, among others” he said.
Oshinowo noted that with the ongoing reforms in the economy and the privatisation and liberalisation programmes that have been pursued over the past few years, it is important that these programmes are supported with the appropriate regulatory measures and laws to ensure that they deliver real benefits to the citizens.
In a related event, NECA has condemned the planned picketing of selected banks by the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees.
The Employers’ Association, in a statement, alleged that the union was being emboldened by the directive of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on the sacking in the banking sector.
NECA’s Director-General, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo, pointed out that the labour law recognised the right of employers to determine their operational policies without approval from the ministry, while respecting the provision of Section 20 of the Labour Act, where and if a labour union existed in the organisation.
He assured that any employer carrying out retrenchment would meet with the appropriate body in the workplace, including the union where one existed, and would pay redundancy benefits to affected employees.
According to him, the right to strike or picket is not an opportunity for impunity and criminality.
“It is most unfortunate that the minister’s comment has been fuelling impunity and gross abuse of rules and principles of industrial relations in Nigeria. The law about dispute settlement is clear in Nigeria. If the union has any issue with the action of the employer, its recourse should be the industrial court rather than take laws in its own hands.
“We expect the minister to caution the union and urge it to follow due process in seeking justice for its cause. In exercising its right to picket, the union should realise that such an action should not impinge on the right of the enterprise to conduct its business,” he said.