In its bid to curb cross-border consumer fraud and ensure adequate consumer protection in Nigeria, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, has signed an updated tripartite Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and United States foremost competition and consumer protection authority, the Federal Trade Commission, FTC.
The MoU, which was signed on October 28th, 2020, is jointly tagged ‘the Agencies’ and the purpose of the MoU is to strengthen cooperation and collaboration in addressing mutual cross-border consumer protection/fraud concerns and problems.
Speaking after the MoU was signed, Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, FCCPC said, “The updated MoU reaffirms the Agencies’ intention and willingness to deploy their capacities to work together, share information, and assist one another in relevant investigations. It also establishes a Joint Implementation Committee to develop joint training programmes and provide assistance with regards to specific investigations.”
“The MOU also affirms the Agencies’ continuing support for econsumer.gov; a joint project of similar agencies from 40 countries for reporting international online scams. The MOU is a framework for voluntary cooperation that does not change existing laws in either country,” said Irukera.
Irukera, Mohammed Umar Abba, Acting Executive Chairman, EFCC and, Joseph Simons, Chairman, FTC all signed the updated MoU on behalf of their respective agencies.
Commenting further on the MoU, the EVC/CEO, FCCPC said “this cross-border collaboration is perhaps one of the most vital tools for combating criminal conduct and consumer protection violations which now transcend territories. Indeed, criminals and exploiters specifically create arrangements and devices to exploit consumers globally from remote locations in order to escape justice and retribution. This framework strengthens our joint abilities and efforts to address this”.
FCCPC discharges its mandate of protection by both preventive and remedial action including complaint resolution, investigations and enforcement action, while the EFCC investigates and prosecutes financial crimes including frauds perpetrated on consumers. The FTC is the United States government’s equivalent of the FCCPC with a mandate to regulate competition and enforce consumer protection laws.
This MoU is consistent with FCCPC’s mandate and strategy to cooperate with counterpart agencies and other regulators to protect consumers and promote market competition in Nigeria.