FCCPC to Clampdown on Traders Hiking Prices of Food Items in Markets, Supermarkets

FCCPC to Clampdown on Traders Hiking Prices of Food Items in Markets, Supermarkets

  • The FCCPC has announced plans to tackle unwarranted price hikes by traders and retailers in markets and supermarkets
  • The commission disclosed that some market associations had formed price-fixing cartels to inflate the prices of food items
  • The consumer protection agency reiterated that price fixing is against the law and it would impose sanctions on those engaging in it

Legit.ng journalist Victor Enengedi has over a decade's experience covering Energy, MSMEs, Technology and the stock market.

The Federal Consumer Competition and Protection Commission (FCCPC) has initiated efforts to engage with markets and supermarkets to inform operators and traders about consumer rights and regulations regarding price fixing.

Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, the acting executive vice chairman of the FCCPC, announced this in Abuja during a one-day awareness workshop for students from Nigerian tertiary institutions organized by the FCCPC.

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FG prepares to tackle food price hikes in Nigeria
FCCPC speaks tough on price fixing in Nigeria Photo credit - AgFunder, Medium
Source: UGC

The FCCPC had previously urged consumers to report suspected price gouging and other unfair trade practices, asserting that it would not remain passive while Nigerian consumers are exploited.

FG prepares to tackle price increases by traders

Adamu emphasized the importance of educating traders and supermarket operators on the relevant laws to ensure compliance and prevent the need for sanctions.

The FCCPC boss stated that the commission had begun advocacy visits to open markets and supermarkets nationwide to educate operators and traders on the stipulations of consumer protection laws.

He said:

"For instance, you can’t go to the market and see a particular price tag on an item and when you go to pick it, they will tell you the price is higher, it is misleading and deceptive and the law does not allow that.

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“Also, those traders in the open markets form associations on different food items like yam, egg, rice and others and sit down to fix prices of such items. They become a cartel of price fixing and we at FCCPC are going there to tell them the law is against that."

He mentioned that the commission is currently conducting sensitization campaigns and that sanctions will be imposed on those who violate the regulations afterwards.

FCCPC officials had earlier uncovered dishonest rice packaging by some rice traders to deliberately deceive and take advantage of consumers.

Traders say they are not responsible for hikes

Damilola Ogundipe, a trader in Mile 12 market in Lagos, however, condemns the commission's attempt to clamp down on traders who increase the prices of food items.

He told Legit.ng that traders want to simply sell their goods and do not enjoy hiking prices unnecessarily.

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He said:

"What the FCCPC fails to understand is that we do not deliberately increase prices without good reasons. We know how difficult the economy has become, and we are not interested in inflicting more frustrations on Nigerians.
"Prices are increased based on how we also buy from producers and manufacturers. We are also affected by the hike because we can not sell at the frequency we were selling before things became very hard.
"I would advise the commission to rather look at the factors responsible for hikes in goods and services in Nigeria. The problems are there and we can not neglect the root problems and instead blame traders."

FCCPC condemns increase in pure water price

In related news, Legit.ng reported that the FCCPC had condemned the increase in the price of sachet water, better known as pure water, across the country.

Adamu Abdullahi, the commission's chief, stated this while speaking in Abuja at an event commemorating the 2024 World Consumer Rights Day.

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The price of sachet water increased to sell for N300-N500 a bag, depending on the location, from N200, which it initially sold.

The Association of Table Water Producers (ATWAP) in Enugu said members at an emergency meeting agreed to hike the price.

Proofreading by James Ojo Adakole, journalist and copy editor at Legit.ng.

Source: Legit.ng

Victor Enengedi avatar

Victor Enengedi (Business HOD) Victor Enengedi is a trained journalist with over a decade of experience in both print and online media platforms. He holds a degree in History and Diplomatic Studies from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State. An AFP-certified journalist, he functions as the Head of the Business Desk at Legit. He has also worked as Head of Editorial Operations at Nairametrics. He can be reached via victor.enengedi@corp.legit.ng and +2348063274521.