The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has vowed to prosecute Point of Sales (POS) operators that violate its order over the proposed increase in their charges.
The Executive Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer of FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, in a statement, said this is an update on the potential anti-competitive conduct in the POS operators’ association in setting their prices.
AMMBAN in June said that the recent increase in POS transaction charges is a reflection of the current economic climate in the country.
FCCPC in early July warned the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN), its members and POS operators from engaging in price-fixing or implementing changes in the prices of services they render.
“The Commission advises PoS operators that violation of an order of the Commission attracts additional consequences apart from the underlying illegal conduct that is the subject of the order such as up to N10,000,000 for corporate entities; and N1,000,000 and ora prison sentence of up to three months for individuals,” Irukera said.
He said that in addition to stipulated statutory consequences, although the Commission prefers not to disrupt the business and operations of small enterprises, it will, (if it becomes necessary) prohibit merchant services and privileges to PoS operators or AMMBAN members who persist in conduct that is inconsistent with law and economic efficiency.
“The Commission is concerned about such statements, and even more so, such conduct. The impunity associated with defiance or persisting in a course of action prohibited by law, and clearly forbidden by regulators usually constitutes aggravating factors in determining penalties for illegal conduct where applicable,” Irukera added.
The FCCPA, Irukera noted, provides the Commission with statutory tools to ensure compliance and penalise violations of the law and as previously noted, some of these penalties are stiff.
Irukera explained that while the Commission continues to provide consideration to, and for small businesses, enforcing the law must remain non negotiable.