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Price fixing: FCCPC to go after informal sector

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC) has vowed to go after players in the informal sector to guard against any form of extortion…

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC) has vowed to go after players in the informal sector to guard against any form of extortion of consumers.

The acting Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi, noted that recent interventions of the federal government through its various agencies, including FCCPC, had yielded results with reduction in the prices of commodities.

He gave an instance with rice, which he said now sold below N60,000.

Abdullahi, while featuring on NTA’s Good Morning Nigeria show monitored by our correspondent, said as the statutory agency of government in charge of protecting the rights of consumers, FCCPC covered all sectors of the economy.

He disclosed that the commission recently visited some markets across the country in an effort to compel marketers to bring down the prices of their food items.

He also said that the commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Lagos Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) to stop price fixing in major markets in the state.

“All these efforts are already yielding results. Price of rice as of today has really come down. These are efforts made from all agencies, we cannot claim it is only from us. We know that the government has done a lot because the administration, despite the fact that it has removed subsidy, has also tried cushioning the effect of the subsidy.

“We have seen the efforts that have been made also about the dollar rate and the fact that the dollar has now come down.

“We now have the mouth and the will to go into supermarkets and markets too and talk about price and look at gouging. Gouging is when you use happenings in the market that normally should not affect prices.

We go into those supermarkets, find out from their records the day they bought those goods and what was the foreign exchange? Why are you selling at that rate?”

Adamu stated that the recent visit to supermarkets failing to comply with the directive to display price tags was in line with its commitment to ensure consumers are not short-changed.

“You check an item and by the time you go to the counter to pay, the price on the shelf is different from what is on the system. That is misleading.

“Our Act empowers us to seal up a supermarket, warehouse, any store once we found out that there has been unwholesome practice which in this case we have confirmed.

“All we are trying to do, we are not trying to stop anybody from doing business, we are trying to make amends.”

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