According to the Black’s
Law Dictionary, 8th edition, Competition is the struggle for
commercial advantage; the effort or action of two or more commercial interests
to obtain the same business from third parties. Whish and Bailey describe
Competition as a struggle or contention for superiority, and in the commercial
world this means a striving for the custom and business of the people in the market

In the Nigerian telecommunication
industry for instance, the major players include MTN, GLOBACOM, ETISALAT and
AIRTEL. These aforementioned companies are competitors in the Nigerian telecom
industry. Competition law in regard to these companies will seek to regulate
the actions of these companies in their bid to gain market power and win
consumers over. 
Competition law consist of
rules that are intended to protect the process of competition in order to maximize
consumer welfare.  In other words, competition
law can be described as consisting of rules and regulations which oversee the
conduct in which companies carry on business (Whish, Bailey 2012). 
The major aim of
competition law is to ensure a deep supply market for consumer goods and
services, not just to ensure that there are many suppliers in the market for
particular goods and services, but to ensure that such suppliers play according
to a set of rules that would make it difficult for any of them, individually or
as a group, to lessen or eliminate competition in the market[ii].
In Nigeria, there is no
form of competition law in existence and this may make the concept strange to
many readers, others may wonder why competition is relevant in the first place.
In answering that question, please note that fair competition allows for open,
equitable, and just competition between business competitors. Unfair
competition on the other hand can lead to – 
forming cartels and colluding to decide market pricing and production,
agreements, for instance, if all telecom agencies in Nigeria came together and
jointly decided to offer their services for a certain price range thereby
forcing the consumers to buy them.
of dominant position, whereby a company uses its position as the dominant
operator in the industry to force prices on consumers, for instance, recently consumers
brought before the Consumer Protection Council, a case against Pay-Tv provider,
DSTV, demanding that the council compels it to review its charges downwards[iii].
The CPC does not have such authority and this may allow DSTV increase its tariffs
excessively knowing Nigerians will have to pay because there is no other Pay-Tv
service provider competing with DSTV.
by an enterprise, and
mergers, for instance if MTN, GLOBACOM, AIRTEL and ETISALAT were to announce a
merger, such action will be remove all form of competition in the telecom
There is currently no law
in the country solely dedicated to competition, even though it exists in some
Acts, such as the Nigeria Communications Act. Although there exists a Price
Control Act, this only serves to protect consumers of stable and essential
items, like sugar, salt, milk, flour, matches, petroleum products, motor
vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles’ with their spare parts (“Controlled
Commodities”). The Price Control Act empowers the Price Control Board to fix
the Controlled Price range for these essential items and makes it a criminal
offence for any person to sell any of the listed Controlled Commodities above
their approved controlled price[iv].
The National Assembly has
been called upon severally to pass a Competition Law in Nigeria, but all
efforts have proved abortive. Currently, there are several proposals for the
Bill before the National Assembly and it is hoped that the 8th
National Assembly will heed this national call and pass a law prohibiting
anti-competition actions by companies. 
At a time when Nigeria is
currently undergoing a recession and earning power is diminishing among the
vast populace, unscrupulous companies can find it ideal to collude and jointly
levy on the Nigerian people, a price regime bothering on exploitative.
Adedunmade Onibokun, Esq.
 Adedunmade is the Principal Partner of
Adedunmade Onibokun & Co., a corporate commercial law firm located in
Lagos, Nigeria. He can be reached via

Whish and D. Bailey (2012). Competition Law . 7th ed. London : Oxford .
OSINOWO LL.B (HONS), B.L. (2014). COMPETITION LAW IN NIGERIA. Available: Last accessed 2nd
December, 2016.
[iii] Leadership
Editors. (2016). Need For Competition Law In Nigeria. Available:
Last accessed 2nd December, 2016.
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