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Nigerian Economy: FCCPC moves to address rising prices, curb unfair trade practices to protect consumers

Photo Collage of Some Officials of the FCCPC Enforcement Team in Nigerian Markets Credit: TVCNews

*Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, Acting Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of Nigeria’s Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, assures the market regulator will collaborate with relevant regulatory bodies to develop a comprehensive and coordinated response to anti-competitive practices, price gouging, and other consumer protection issues in the Nigerian economy

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the current high inflation in the Nigerian economy, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has said the market regulator is aware of consumers’ concerns regarding the continued rise in prices of goods and services.

ConsumerConnect reports despite the recent appreciation of the West African country’s Naira against the US Dollar, consumers in diverse sectors of the economy have continued to face escalating costs without corresponding decreases in prices of goods, other commodities, and services.

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

Responding to the current market realities, the Commission Wednesday, April 17, 2024, expressly stated that the situation “is unacceptable”, just as the FCCPC affirmed its commitment to protecting consumers from further exploitation in Nigeria.

Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, Acting Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Commission, in the statement, said “the FCCPC understands the significant financial strain these rising prices are placing on Nigerian households.”

Abdullahi noted pursuant to Sections 17 (a), (e), (g), (l), (s); 72(2)(a); 108(1)(b); 124; & 127(1)(a)(b) of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018, “the Commission is taking proactive steps to address this issue.”

The market regulator stated while it could not directly regulate prices, the FCCPC would apply its existing legal framework to enforce fair competition and consumer protection provisions in the economy.

Abdullahi said such regulatory measures would include monitoring and investigating unusual price hikes, addressing complaints filed by consumers, and taking action against any businesses found to be engaging in anti-competitive practices such as price-fixing, price gouging or cartel formation.

He also disclosed the Commission has directed its operatives to intensify monitoring of both formal and informal markets, where businesses may be taking advantage of market conditions to unfairly inflate prices, and ramp up enforcement activities.

“The operatives will be working collaboratively with trade associations, farmer groups, and other stakeholders to identify and remove unnecessary barriers to entry in various sectors, combat price-fixing, and dismantle cartels.

“This will encourage increased competition, ultimately leading to lower prices for consumers,” stated Abdullahi.

He affirmed: “The Commission remains committed to educating consumers about their rights and empowering them to make informed choices.

“We will engage in advocacy and public awareness campaigns to raise awareness about price gouging and other unfair trade practices and provide guidance on how to identify and report such practices.”

The Acting Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO further opined that the FCCPC recognises the importance of working alongside other government regulatory agencies to tackle this complex issue.

Abdullahi noted: “We will collaborate with relevant regulatory bodies to develop a comprehensive and coordinated response to anti-competitive practices, price gouging, and other consumer protection issues.”

He added “the FCCPC is committed to ensuring a fair and competitive marketplace for all Nigerians.

“We encourage consumers to continue reporting suspected price gouging and other unfair trade practices through contact@fccpc.gov.ng.” “Together, we can work towards a more stable, fair, and competitive marketplace for all Nigerians.”

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