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Consumer Protection Commission launches merger notification portal

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) on Thursday in Lagos, launched a merger portal as part of government's effort in facilitating the merger process in Nigeria.

The portal was launched at a stakeholders engagement by the FCCPC, held at the Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel in Lagos,

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the portal is a remote filing system for the submission of all merger notifications to the Commission.

It is aimed at easing the merger notification process and creating an easy commercial outlet for businesses in Nigeria.

In his welcome address, the FCCPC's Executive Commissioner in charge of operations, Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi, said that the portal being an initiative of government, seeks to create ease of doing businesses in the country.

"From Industries, we expect compliance with the rules, while they in turn require accessibility from us; so, In the coming months, we will continue to carry our stakeholders along in this process

"Let us be clear that enforcement of the law is our responsibility, while your responsibility is compliance; Industries must know the rules and play by it.

"Together, we are gathered to launch this merger notification portal, where businesses can make notification filings with ease.

"So, sit back and forge along" he said

Introducing the notification portal, Mrs Christiana Umana, Head, Mergers and Acquisition Unit of the FCCPC, described the commission as one of the few that has automated its process.

"The portal automates the merger notification process, ensures that the information relayed are encrypted, and also has a daily backup for disaster recovery," she said

According to her, the notification portal is also home based so as to encourage originality and uphold the nation's sovereignty

"As soon as a notification is provided, the information goes to the portal for the public to make an input.

Most importantly, the portal is hosted in Nigeria, to ensure compliance with Nigeria's sovereignty laws," she said.

Also speaking on the regulatory approach to competition law in Nigeria, the Executive Vice Chairman of the FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera, said that what the commission currently has on meger control, has been a product of collective works.

According to him, the commission will continue to be responsive to the needs of businesses, and urged all to ensure compliance with the regulatory laws.

"As a stakeholders engagement, am sure industries and businesses will not want to pass this by.

"The portal we have presented today, has already gone live, so, if you have a notification to file, kindly use the portal.

"Critisicms is largely reflective of a society, and so, I think it is important to engage stakeholders on this, and educate them on what we think is the case .

"The notification portal is still a subject for us all to continue to work on, and quite a lot of people has cmmended this availability for engagement.

"On Mergers and Acquisition, it is good that there is now the "track" for the "train" to run on, so, it is for the notification portal to keep facilitating this track," he said

Irukera also noted that Mergers and Acquisition were part of competition process,.that provides discretion for parties.

While urging regulators to seize opportunity of the notification portal which is already live, he however, warned that there are penalties for defaulters.

NAN reports that the event also showcased a five minutes video detailing the FCCPC's journey so far, in managing competition law in Nigeria.

The event had various law firms, capital market operators as well as commercial regulators from.divers fields

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