FCCPC Fines Tobacco Company $110 Million for Breaking Laws in Nigeria

FCCPC Fines Tobacco Company $110 Million for Breaking Laws in Nigeria

  • British American Tobacco operating in Nigeria will pay $110 million to the FCCPC for repeated violation of acts in the country
  • It said that investigation revealed the company established multiple violations of the FCCPA and other enactments
  • The Consumer Protection Commission said that the agreement was reached with the company through mutual consultation

Legit.ng journalist Zainab Iwayemi has over three years of experience covering the Economy, Technology, and Capital Market.

British American Tobacco (BAT) Nigeria and its affiliated companies have been fined $110 million by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) for repeated violations of the National Tobacco Control Act, the FCCPC Act, and other legal documents.

FCCPC fines tobacco company for breaking law in Nigeria
The $110 million fine was decided by mutual consultation with BAT. Photo Credit: krisanapong detraphiphat, John-Francis Bourke
Source: Getty Images

The Commission made it clear in a statement on its X page that the fine was decided by mutual consultation with BAT in accordance with the FCCPC's Cooperation/Assistance Rules & Procedure (CARP) 2021.

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Companies prepared to cooperate could gain from this approach by avoiding some laws and facing lesser penalties.

FCCPC launched an investigation

On August 28, 2020, the FCCPC launched an investigation following reliable facts and intelligence that called for more research.

On January 25, 2021, the Commissionn conducted simultaneous searches at several BAT locations and a service provider's location after receiving a search warrant from the Federal High Court.

It added that multiple violations of the FCCPA and other pertinent statutes were established and supported by further investigation, evidence gathering, and analysis of seized electronic communications and other data.

Multiple violations of the FCCPA and other enactments were established and confirmed by further investigation, which included proffers, hearings, transcripts of sworn testimony, and ongoing examination of the evidence.

It stated:

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“In the resolution of an investigation over a broad range of anticompetitive conduct including abuse of dominance, seeking to frustrate competitors, penalise retailers for providing equal platforms for product display of competitors, product introduction in violation of regulations among others, & infringement of public health control regulations British American Tobacco & FCCPC entered into a consent order including a penalty of $110 million during 2023.”

According to the Commission, the BAT parties will also be subject to a 24-month compliance and monitoring programme overseen by the FCCPC to ensure adherence to appropriate business practices.

Additionally, they will be required to undertake a mandatory public health and tobacco control advocacy campaign compliant with relevant laws and regulations.

In exchange for meeting its responsibilities under the Consent Order, the Commission stated that it had dropped its pending criminal proceedings against BAT Nigeria and one employee for hindering the execution of a search warrant and initially refusing to cooperate during the investigation.

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In accordance with FCCPA Section 153, it added that the BAT parties shall furnish the Commission with written guarantees.

"Find balance": FCCPC to develop new policy to force debtors to refund loan apps

Legit.ng reported that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) intends to develop a new regulatory framework.

According to the Commission, this move would help address Nigerians' rising indebtedness to digital money lenders (DMLs), also known as loan apps.

Babatunde Irukera, the Chief Executive Officer of FCCPC, disclosed this during a live television program on Monday, December 25, 2023.

Source: Legit.ng

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