The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has expressed shock and utter dismay over the decision of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) to shut down the offices of Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc, in disregard for the rule of law.
Director General of NECA, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo, said NECA had approached the court in 2016 for the interpretation of ‘promos’, warning that the commission should await the court’s interpretation on the definition of promos, which it believes is not the same as lottery.
This, NECA said, will enable the commission operate within the limits guaranteed by law and also promote the survival of enterprises in the country, who are the engine of growth in any economy.
‘‘Organised businesses under the auspices of NECA had approached the courts in the case CA/A/207/2016, NECA & 1 or vs. AG Federation & 3 ors. The case is currently at the Federal Court of Appeal and parties in the case had maintained status quo ante since 2016.
This was in obedience to the court order, which had restrained the National Lottery Commission and/or its agents from imposing/further imposing its own interpretation of ‘promos’ on NECA’s members and/or from further harassing, intimidating and/or sealing-up the offices of NECA’s members.
Oshinowo, however, expressed shock that the new helmsman at NLRC, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, could go all out to act in breach of the rule of law and utter contempt of court by shutting down the offices and business premises of NB Plc in a case that is still before the Court of Appeal.
The NECA DG explained that since 2016 when the case was filed in court, the past leadership of the commission had exercised restraint and due respect for the law of the land. He decried the resort to breach of law in a civilised society where all hands are on deck to boost the ailing economy of the nation.
“It is unthinkable that a public servant will shut down business premises of a multi-billion dollar investment without considering the dire implications on the economy,” he worried.
Oshinowo has, however, called on the Presidency and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment to call the NLRC DG to order as his actions are not only illegal, unlawful and ultra vires the powers conferred on him.
NECA alleged that the DG is working at cross purposes with the laudable efforts of the Federal Government in improving the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) in Nigeria.
NECA said its call on the Presidency and the Minister is informed by government’s belief in fairness and justice, and its several unequivocally affirmation of its belief in enterprise rights and those of ordinary Nigerians, adding that, these are hallmarks of good governance which will shore up investors’ confidence in the economy .