THE Director-General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mr Babatunde Irukera said the prioritisation of robust regulation and stronger competition policies would ensure Africa’s economic growth in a changing world.
Irukera said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
He made the comments during a recent presentation at the Africa Policy Forum of the Leeds University Centre of Africa Studies (LUCAS) of the University of Leeds.
The director-general described Africa’s market as its greatest economic asset and advocated the implementation of improved principles of asset management and strategies to maximise the benefits from the markets.
This, the CPC bosses said would help the continent overcome poverty and achieve significant economic growth.
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While presenting a paper on “Africa’s Emerging Market: A matter of Asset and Access,’’ Irukera said asset management was a systematic approach to governance and realisation of value.
He said the increasing value of the African market was underscored by rising consumer spending across the continent which was about 1.4 trillion dollars in 2015 and projected to reach 2.1 trillion dollars by 2025.
According to him, the growth of the continent is driven by key factors such as a young and growing population, rise in incomes, rapid urbanisation and widespread adoption of technology.
“Considering population and age, it is clear that Africa’s greatest assets are its people and skills, sadly they are also our greatest export.
“Africans are key applicants to nations with skills acquisition immigration policies which focus on highly skilled migrants, whether its U.S.A, Canada or the United Kingdom.
“Essentially, these countries benefit from people who have acquired certain skills they need without the time and resource required to invest in development.’’
He said rather than engage in the unproductive export of talent and skills, there should be a stronger focus on robust regulation and competition regimes to overcome current challenges to maximise existing opportunities.
According to him, the positive impact of improved competition and regulation regimes on the continent are real and are felt by all strata of society from the highest levels down to the lowest rungs.
To highlight the gains that can be derived from tackling anti-competitive practices and reforming policies to enable competition, the CPC boss cited figures from the World Bank and other sources.
Irukera urged that prices of food be stabled by 10 per cent, cartels tackled and regulations improved to limit competition in food markets.
This, he said could lift 500,000 people in Kenya, South Africa and Zambia out of poverty and save consumers more than 700 million dollars a year.
He said that in more than 40 per cent of African countries, a single operator holds over half the market share in the telecommunications and transport sectors and this posed a great challenge.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that economic performance is generally measured by spending and consumption index as a key indicator.
“Spending is usually considered a matter of disposable income, however, spending is as much a matter of satisfaction as it is of disposable income.
“Satisfaction, on the other hand, is primarily about choice, price, quality and treatment. The rightly regulated market will provide satisfaction and encourage spending.”