The Federal Trade Commission signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with two Nigerian agenciestoday to increase cooperation and communication in their joint efforts to stamp out cross-border fraud. Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Adebowale Adefuye, provided opening remarks for the MOU signing ceremony.
The MOU was signed by FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez; Director General Dupe Atoki, of Nigeria’s Consumer Protection Council (CPC); and Executive Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde, of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). It is the first FTC MOU of this kind to include a foreign criminal enforcement authority. The CPC addresses consumer complaints through investigations and enforcement; the EFCC is a criminal enforcement agency with authority to address consumer fraud and other financial crimes.
"Cross-border scammers use fraudulent e-mails and other scams to bilk consumers all over the world, while undermining confidence in legitimate businesses,” said FTC Chairwoman Ramirez. “This MOU will help our agencies better protect consumers in both the U.S. and Nigeria.”
Director Atoki stated that “We fully support this collaboration on consumer and fraud matters, and have already detailed a senior CPC official to the FTC for a six-month staff exchange.” And Executive Chairman Lamorde noted that he “welcomes this partnership, which builds on our existing collaboration with the FTC and with U.S. criminal enforcement authorities.”
The MOU provides for a Joint Implementation Committee to identify concrete areas of collaboration, establish joint training programs and workshops, and provide assistance regarding specific cases and investigations. The MOU is a framework for voluntary cooperation and will not change existing laws in either country.
The FTC has already worked with the two Nigerian agencies on policy and enforcement matters in various fora, including the African Consumer Protection Dialogue, the International Mass Marketing Fraud Working Group, the London Action Plan (LAP, an anti-spam network), and the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network.
The Commission vote authorizing Chairwoman Ramirez to sign the MOU on behalf of the agency was 4-0.
As more U.S. companies and consumers do business overseas, more FTC work involves international cooperation. The Office of International Affairs serves both as an internal resource to Commission staff on international aspects of their work and as an official representative to numerous international organizations. In addition, the FTC cooperates with foreign authorities through formal and informal agreements. The FTC works with more than 100 foreign competition and consumer protection authorities around the world to promote sound policy approaches. For questions about the Office of International Affairs, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases and the FTC International Monthly for the latest FTC news and resources.
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