By Hafsat Tilde
Nigerians have been urged to continue to have trust in various government policies and programmes established to ease their daily life challenges.
Hajiya Saratu Shafi’i, Chairman of Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal (CCPT), stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
She said that the efforts of government to make life comfortable for Nigerians led to the establishment of agencies and commissions that would directly impact on them.
Shafii said that the CCPT was such body charged with reviewing the decision of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and other sector regulators.
The Tribunal consists of the Chairman and six members from the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
It is a court of record set up to review the decisions of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and other sector regulators on matters relating to Competition and Consumer Protection.
Shafii said that the CCPT was such body charged with responsibilities of providing ease of seeking redress and justice to both service providers and consumers.
“Once Nigerians realise and enforce their rights as consumers, service providers and producers will sit up and give better services to them, and the Tribunal will ensure justice.
“As a pioneer chairman, I will want to leave a Tribunal with a strong law, procedure rules, dynamic institutional framework and efficient workforce that will position and maintain the Tribunal as a veritable tool in National Development Spectrum.
“My tentative plan is to position the Tribunal in a pedestal where justice to the producers/service providers, justice to the consumers and justice to Nigeria will not only be done but will be seen to be have been done,” she said.
Shafii said that many expectations followed her appointment as the chairman of the tribunal as a person with lofty objections and visions.
“As a person that went for a 29 years training and retraining such as leadership skills, workplace ethics, value proposition, creativity and innovation, I felt the need to up the game in the new establishment.
“I joined CAC as a Senior Legal Officer and rose through the ranks to a Director. One would inevitably assumed that I must have built knowledge capital, social capital and emotional intelligence overtime.
“Therefore, the expectations is that of an integrated toolkits full of resilience and critical thinking as expected of a pioneer Chairman that must lay a solid foundation to achieve the Tribunal’s mandate.”
She said that the Tribunal was established with the normal challenges of building something from scratch, adding that the members of the tribunal were all committed to the take off due to its importance to Nigerians.
“Generally speaking, I had no challenges in its strict sense. However, where a new Tribunal is established as a novel agency with no existing Rules, Practice Direction or manual to function and you as a Chairman have the directive of the Federal Government to commence work immediately, then this must indeed call for a strategic and critical actions which some people may think as challenging.
“In this case, with my background as a Legal Practitioner I leverage on my educational background, professional network, the partnership of my six members of the Tribunal and the team spirit of my pioneer staff to come up with an action plan, set a milestone and provide an implementation strategy,” she said.
Some of the CCPT mandate under section 39 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018 is the mandate to adjudicate on all matters prohibited under the Act.
The CCPT mandates include the following; To adjudicate on all matters bordering on Unfair Competition, Unlawful Merger, Price Fixing, Monopoly and Consumer Rights Protection.
To hear appeals from or review any decision of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) taken in the course of the implementation of any of the provisions of the (FCCPA) as may be referred to it.
To hear appeals from or review of any sector of specific regulatory authority in a regulated industry in respect of competition and consumer protection matters, issue such orders as may be required of it under the (FCCPA).
And make any ruling or such other orders as may be necessary or incidental to the performance of its functions under the (FCCPA).
The Chairman added that the Tribunal was proud of four judgments since its establishment and would do more in the future as well as undertake the amendment of the Act.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz