British American Tobacco BAT has agreed to pay a substantial fine of $110 million to the Nigerian government for violating both the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Act and the National Tobacco Control Act.
This is for alleged violations of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, the National Tobacco Control Act, and other legal documents, according to a statement issued by the FCCPC on Wednesday.
Furthermore, the panel stated that BAT must submit to 24 months of compliance and monitoring, mandated public health and tobacco control advocacy, and requirements for written guarantees to the commission.
“The Commission on August 28, 2020, opened an active investigation concerning BAT, which was based on the Commission’s satisfaction that a series of credible pieces of information and intelligence was actionable enough for broader and deeper inquiry concerning certain conduct, for, by and on behalf of BAT parties,” FCCPC stated.
The FCCPC stated that its sanctions were determined after careful analysis of the evidence, new articulation submissions from BAT Parties, and correspondence.
A part of the investigation’s verdict read as follows: “That BAT Parties shall pay a penalty of $110,000,000 under according to Section 155 of the FCCPA, Clause 11 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s Administrative Penalties Regulations, 2020 and Clause 4.2 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission’s Investigative Cooperation/Assistance Rules and Procedures, 2021.”
The commission declared that it would continue to promote and ensure fair market practices while safeguarding consumer interests.
“A distorted market benefits only those who engage in malfeasance at the expense of others, and exploitation of consumers while undermining a stable economy. It compromises a constitutional and national priority of economic growth and shared prosperity,” it added.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, stated that corporations must be held accountable and made to face the consequences when they make mistakes.
He disclosed this while revealing that the commission produced N56bn in Internally Generated Revenue in 2023, primarily from penalties.
“While noting that fines accounted for 90 per cent of IGR, he stated, “What keeps the market stable is holding businesses accountable.”
“We are not attempting to shut down businesses, but they must understand that if you snooze, you lose. You can’t manipulate the market and expect nothing to happen,” he said.