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Sahad: FCCPC warns FMCG stores, businesses against regulatory infractions in economy

Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, Acting Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of FCCPC

*Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, Acting Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, explains how the Commission’s operatives visited Sahad Stores Limited, Abuja, and confirmed that deceptive practice continued just as the company’s cashiers also charged discriminatory prices for products, leaving unsuspecting consumers vulnerable to unfair pricing

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has disclosed how the agency’s officials conducted an on-the-spot check February 16, 2024, on Sahad Stores Limited, a Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) supermarket located in Garki, in Abuja, FCT, which led to the temporary closure of the store due to continued market violations involving misleading pricing and lack of transparency.

Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, Acting Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO), in a statement issued at the weekend, explained the FCCPC, pursuant to Section 17 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA), earlier January 8 had investigated the FMCG store following reports of misleading pricing practices in the FCT.

The investigation revealed that the store displayed lower prices on shelves and charged higher prices at checkout, contravening Section 115 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018.

Abdullahi stated: “The investigation included all branches of the store in Abuja to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the issue and implement corrective measures across the entire chain.

“The FCCPC promptly issued a summons to specific staff of the FCMG store, asking them to appear on February 12, 2024, to discuss corrective measures.

“However, the staff failed to appear without justification, raising concerns about potential violations under Section 33(3) of the FCCPA.”

The FCCPC also noted its operatives visited the FCMG store February 16, and confirmed through random checks that the deceptive practice did not only continue, but cashiers also charged prices at their discretion, leaving unsuspecting consumers vulnerable to unfair pricing.

According to the Acting EVC/CEO of FCCPC, in exercising its authority under Section 18(f), the Commission temporarily sealed off the premises to allow the store time to readjust their pricing system.

Subsequently, following a mutual understanding and commitment from the store to implement transparent pricing practices, the market regulator later “reopened the store February 16, 2024, at about 7:00 p.m.”

Caution to other FMCGs engaging in unfair pricing, consumer exploitation

The Commission further stated it is aware that similar practices may be occurring at other FCMG outlets nationwide.

“These outlets are advised to cease such practices immediately to avoid consequences. Businesses are expected to display transparent pricing information to empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions, especially during challenging economic times,” said Abdullahi.

The statement noted: “The FCCPC remains committed to combating all forms of exploitative or misleading practices that undermine consumer rights.

“The FCCPA protects consumer rights and prohibits deceptive business practices. Section 115 outlines potential penalties for violations, including fines for organisations and imprisonment for Directors.

“The FCCPC encourages all businesses to adhere to fair and transparent pricing practices to ensure consumer protection and a healthy market environment.”

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