The Gambia Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (GCCPC) held a day-long training for senior members of the Gambia Police Force (GPF), under the theme “Competition and Corruption.”
The training was described as timely by the Executive Secretary of the Commission, given the interrelation between corruption and competition.
“Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between corruption and competition. There is an inverse relationship, i.e. the more corruption, the less competition,” he said.
Principal investigator, GCCPC, Basiru Njie said during a number of investigations the commission has conducted over the years, they have come across issues of corruption. He added that corruption distorts competition and is an issue that needs to be tackled to protect the competition process, enhance consumer welfare, and create value for money.
“Evidence of collusion may come to light during a corruption investigation, and vice versa; having in place an information sharing mechanism ensures that this information is brought to the attention of the appropriate enforcement body,” Njie said.
Manager Consumer Protection, Alhagie Sambou said corruption affects the availability of choices, which leads to unreasonable pricing of goods and services adversely affecting consumers.
Ansumana Kinteh, Commander, Gambia Police Training School urged the commission to work with the school by initiating training programs. This he added, will help in identifying ways of working with the police in a bid to curb corruption and help promote competition.
Hassan Baldeh, Serious Crime Unit, GFP said in some investigations, they see issues hindering competition but do not have the mandate to investigate. Collaboration between the two institutions is much need, he added.
Yerro Mballow, Commanding Officer Kairaba Police suggested the commission include Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) and Customs office in similar trainings.
“Curbing corruption will require concerted efforts,” Mballow said.
Lamin Bojang, Director Competition said collaboration between the two institutions is needed in effectively mitigating the effects of corruption on competition, and that could start by signing an MOU.
“Collaboration would enable the police help the Commission in conducting investigations, dawn raids, gathering and analyzing evidence, and conducting interviews,” Bojang said.