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FCCPC probes sharp practices by importers, sellers of generators

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The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says it has discovered anti-free market practices such as price-fixing being perpetrated by importers and sellers of generating sets in Nigeria.

Babatunde Irukera, chief executive officer (CEO), FCCPC, said this in an interview on Arise TV at the weekend.

He said through intelligence gathering, FCCPC also saw that some of the companies were equally shortchanging the government in payment of duties for imported spare parts.

Irukera said some of the companies importing and selling generators took “undue advantage” of the opportunity provided by government through exemption of duty payment on imported completely knocked down parts (CKDs) intended to boost alternative energy and increase affordability of alternative power sources for consumers.

The FCCPC boss explained that the policy is part of the government’s efforts to address power generation, transmission and distribution deficits in the country for the people to access supply at an affordable price.

“The least that a society should experience is that the candle doesn’t burn from both ends and is not shortchanged even with respect to the cost of providing alternative power, typically referred to as renewable energy,” he said.

“So, we got credible intelligence that in the generator sector, there were a few things that were going wrong.

“Number one, in order to address generation, transmission and distribution deficits, one of the things the government has done is to relax certain rules with getting your alternative power.

“One of them is reducing or even eliminating duties with respect to CKDs to build a generator and so, most generator importers bring in these CKDs and then assemble.

“That does two things: The lack of duties makes it more affordable for consumers, and then, it also promotes local industry in the sense that, at least, it brings the value-adding process to be done domestically, which is the assembling.”

On the alleged price fixing by the companies, Irukera explained that the council also discovered that there was some level of coordination where some companies were talking with themselves and agreeing by signaling on how the prices moved.

“So, with all that information that we had, we presented that to the judge of the federal high court and when the judge was convinced, the judge issued a search warrant, an order for us to execute and that’s what we did.

“We executed a search warrant simultaneously on multiple operators in the industry at the end of last year.

“Usually, an investigation of this nature takes quite a while because you now have to start slicing the information that you have got.

“Certain terabytes of information was downloaded from their computers, their emails and telephones and so, we are analysing that information”.

‘WE CANNOT FULLY RESOLVE COMPLAINTS OF BANK CUSTOMERS’

Irukera also said the enactment of the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020 has limited the council’s powers over the Nigerian banking industry, especially in dealing with complaints by customers.

The FCCPC boss explained that the law excluded the FCCPC act from the banking industry.

This, according to Irukera, meant that the oversight work that FCCPC does with resolving complaints in financial institutions became limited.

“So, essentially, the real statutory platform for resolving banking complaints is now the central bank exclusively,” he said.

“However, because banking constitutes the second largest complaints we receive, what we have done at the FCCPC is to continue to do the work in the banking sector based on an understanding that withdrawing that channel would absolutely be chaotic.

“And so, we’re struggling with having the statutory tools to deal with the banking sector as we used to.

“And one of the results of this is that we don’t have the visibility that we would have to be able to contribute to policy and execution of policy in a way that would truly and fully capture what we know based on our experience in dealing with banking customers and what we understand the landscape of the industry to be.”

The FCCPC boss, however, added that the commission does work with banks by getting them to acknowledge what issues they may have with customers.

“But what FCCPC can do based on the limitation on the statutory instrument is to at least get the banks to address what the issue is,” he said.

“With respect to the question on penalties, the kind of statutory power to penalise inappropriate conduct is still questionable.”

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Mr Eazi accuses Bad Bunny of sampling Joeboy’s song without permission

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Mr. Eazi, the music executive, has accused Bad Bunny, the Puerto Rican rapper, of copyright infringement.

In a Twitter post, the Nigerian claimed Bad Bunny, born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, ripped production elements off Joeboy who signed to Empawa, his talent incubator.

Eazi highlighted the songs involved as Joeboy’s ‘Empty My Pocket‘ and Bad Bunny’s ‘Enséñame a Bailar‘.

Joeboy’s song was published on Youtube in June 2021 while that of Bad Bunny was uploaded on the video-sharing platform in May 2022.

Streaming both songs on Youtube, the sound engineering appeared to be identical.

In a further callout via his LinkedIn, Mr. Eazi said all efforts to resolve the matter since May 2022 have proved abortive.

He claimed Bad Bunny recorded the song without undertaking a clearance process with Joeboy and Empawa.

Mr. Eazi also alleged that Rimas Music, Bad Bunny’s record label, is also denying Joeboy and his producer their rights.

“The intent of Rimas Music is to blatantly appropriate young African creators’ work for their gain without attribution,” the music executive wrote.

“I founded emPawa Africa to protect and support African creative entreupreunors and artists with a virtuous ecosystem, believing that Afrobeats and Afropop would be today what we wished then it would become.

“I am sharing this story even if plagiarism accusations and copyright infringement lawsuits are nothing new in music, but in this specific case, it is an ill intent of robbery and abuse.

“As it is taking someone’s song recording it and interacting with condescendence because we are African and independent label? We understand business. We know the value of our culture and friendships.”

Bad Bunny is a Puerto Rican rapper-singer whose musical style is primarily defined as Latin trap and reggaeton.

The Puerto Rican is yet to react to the allegation — as of the time of this report.

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Bimbo Ademoye gets epic surprise package from VJ Adams on 32nd birthday (Video)

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The spectacular birthday surprise that Nigerian video jockey VJ Adams gave to Bimbo Ademoye has left her stunned.

Today, the Nigerian actress Bimbo Ademoye turned 32 and was given a private and beautiful pre-birthday party by VJ Adams.

Adams brought along her family to the surprise private bash, saying he knows how much she loves family.

He captioned the lovely video with, “I know how much family means to you. Happy birthday, Queen. Intimate pre-birthday.”

In another video on his story, the video jockey treated the actress to a private food date.

Rumors of the duo being together have been in the news since last year, with either of them confirming or refuting the news.

This gesture has gotten people talking about them as a couple again.

In addition, Kunle Remi, the on-screen partner and close friend of Ademoye, gave her a goat as a birthday gift.

Bimbo Ademoye was heard in a viral video saying, “Kunle sent this sht; what am I supposed to do with a goat?” How can he put my name on a goat? “I can’t touch this sht.”

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Mr Ibu fumes as wife accuses him of violence and dating adopted daughter

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Stella Maris, the wife to Mr. Ibu, the Nollywood actor, has called him out over alleged domestic violence.

In a now-viral video, the pair were seen engaging in a heated face-off, with the actor yelling at Maris.

“Don’t let me get angry with you, do you hear me? Tell me what I want to hear right now. Stay there, are you mad?” the actor said.

Maris was heard in the video pleading with the film star. She also asked who is Chioma Jasmine to him.

“I get BP….who is Chioma now?” she had asked, further infuriating the actor.

In another clip, Maris claimed Mr Ibu was dating Jasmine who she described as his “girlfriend”.

She also accused the actor, born John Okafor, of neglecting her and their children.

“My children dey here dey suffer. This man came to kill me. Don’t tell me it is okay, you don’t know what I am suffering. He came prepared to beat and kill me,” she said in a mixture of pidgin and English.

“I ran away from him. He came from his girlfriend’s house to come and beat me. He removed his wristwatch and was about to beat me, I pushed him and ran away.

“Look at where I am living, there is crack everywhere…inside house, there is water. Look at the car I am driving, nothing, my children do not eat, no school fees, and you are telling me to do what. Not today, your cup is full.”

But reacting in an Instagram live session with Daddy Freeze, the actor denied the domestic violence allegations.

“She’s my wife but there has been so much misunderstanding between us. That’s because she doesn’t want to understand the kind of person I am and my way of life,” he said.

“One or two things happened and it became a quarrel so we went out to settle it. I didn’t know she has something to push out on social media.

“When came back from the police station, she started saying all sorts of things about me. She insulted my daughter and said all hell of things about her.

“She also insulted me, saying different things on air. I didn’t do anything to her.”

The actor also dismissed the claim that Jasmine was his girlfriend and not his daughter.

Daniel Okafor, the second son of the actor, who also graced the live session, spoke on the matter.

“She (Jasmine) is 100 per cent (my father’s) daughter, not biological but adopted right from childhood,” he said.

“Maris, who is my step-mother, is being brainwashed by her friends….my own mother is married to another man, but she is in Lagos.”

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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