I Leave Behind A Strong Institutional Advocate In The FCCPC -Irukera

Babatunde Irukera

By Miriam Humbe

Immediate past Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, (FCCPC), Barr. Babatunde Irukera has said that he’s leaving behind a strong institutional advocate in the Commission.

Barr. Irukera said this via a post on the social media platform, X, formerly Twitter, in reaction to the recent sack of Chief Executive Officers of the FCCPC and the Bureau of Public Enterprises by the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Monday.

Having served as the Director General in the then Consumer Protection Council, since May 2017, and later renamed as the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Irukera said he was grateful for the opportunity to have served the Nigerian consumer.

@TundeIrukera wrote: “Grateful for the opportunity to have served the incredibly vibrant and loyal Nigerian citizens/consumers. They deserve a better deal. I leave behind a strong institutional advocate in the FCCPC and an outstanding team of soldiers who work there daily for the cause of fair markets.”

A staff of the FCCPC who spoke with Humsimedia Online said that the Commission would greatly miss the caliber of leader that Babatunde Irukera had been, his transparency and what he achieved within the given time.

The FCCPC staff said that Irukera took bold and daring steps, made far-reaching decisions and achieved much in the Commission’s mandate to protect the consuming public from unfair practices.

Irukera’s ability to bring to their knees, the otherwise powerful local and international companies infringing on consumer rights and make them accountable was seen as a feat never achieved before him at the FCCPC.

At a strategic media engagement in Abuja in December, Babatunde Irukera enlightened his audience on how at the helm of affairs in the FCCPC, he had turned around the fortunes of the the Commission from dependent on government subvention to a self funding Agency.

In the Year 2023, the FCCPC generated over N56 billion, where 90 percent of the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) was obtained through payment of penalties by defaulting companies in the country.

He said that the FCCPC remitted N22.4billion to the federal government.

This is what the EVC said concerning revenue generation and enforcement in the Commission:

“In 2023, our internally generated revenue is already N56bn and we have remitted to the government N22.4 billion and for me what this demonstrates is the real possibility for our country. Our possibilities are absolutely limitless.

“We don’t approve a single product, we don’t take fees for registration of anything nor support or sponsorship from companies.

“All our revenue, at least 90 percent is from penalties. We believe that the market should be unlocked and business should be allowed to operate well and should thrive.

“But we also believe in consequence and businesses must be held accountable, if we don’t hold people accountable, we can’t promote good behavior.

“Prior to 2017, the FCCPC had a budget of N1bn from the Federal Government, of this amount, N511 million was personal cost and salaries of 240 employees at the time.

“What was released was N796 million. Our internally generated revenue was N154 million.

“In 2018, the agency had a huge jump in the budget from the treasury and it got a budget of N3.3 billion and that is largest, of which N2.1 billion was released.

“By 2019, the budget of the agency went back from N3.3bn down to N1.3 billion. Out of that, 518 million was personnel cost.

“In that year, when we started the reforms, the agency made a total Internally generated revenue of N377 million, which was unprecedented as the highest at the time. But we were growing the agency as best as we could.

“In 2020 the government budgeted deeper to N887 million of which N582 million was for salaries and personnel cost. The agency was able to make approximately what the government gave by itself and the agency revenue that year was N864 million.

“By 2021, the government approved a budget of N1.8 billion for the agency but the agency generated by itself N4 billion and gave to the government N1.6 billion”.

“In 2022, the government budgeted N1.3 billion for the agency and N633 million was personal cost but the Agency didn’t touch a single kobo of the operational and capital expense.

“The only thing the government paid that year was salaries. In that year, the agency made N5.2 billion and remitted to the government N2.6 billion.

“By this time, we had indicated to go out of the budget because we could take care of ourselves, we went to the government and got approval to leave the treasury and so in December 2022, the government said starting from January 2023, we would be taken off the budget.

“2023 is our first year of being on our own and now our personnel cost has hovered from N633 million to about N2.5 billion. Essentially, our personnel cost went up times four. We didn’t increase number of staff but salaries was improved”.

Another staff of the FCCPC urged President Bola Tinubu to search carefully for Irukera’s replacement as the job of protecting the Nigerian consumer was not for the fainthearted.

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