• Friday, April 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

FCCPC blames ‘cartels’ for sachet water price hike

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has described the astronomical increase in the price of sachet water by various associations as unacceptable and unfair to consumers.

Adamu Abdullahi, Acting Executive Vice-Chairman of FCCPC, stated this at an event to commemorate the 2024 World Consumer Rights Day with the theme, “Fair and Responsible Al for Consumers.’’ held in Abuja on Friday.

Earlier the FCCPC in its X account faulted the high cost of goods on the emergence of cartels that manipulate the prices of goods.

“This has now resulted in the emergence of `cartels’ and cartels, anywhere in the world, are not acceptable.

“Our Act is against price fixing and it is not acceptable to us. We will find out about these cartels and do something about their activities.

“The Consumers International joined the efforts that gave us the inkling of how prices have rolled in Nigeria in the last three months and it is so surprising and unacceptable.

“It is simply the issue of a cartel and we have to break in, find out what is going on and dissolve such cartels. But, the consumers are the ones who will lodge the complaint to us before we go and find out,” the message on the social media handle read.

According to Abdullahi, there was no reason whatsoever for the increase in the price of sachet water because most of the producers already had their machines.

“Yes, power, fuel, price of nylon had increased, but that cannot explain the cause for the astronomical rise in price.

“What we have discovered is that most products now have associations, even the sachet water producers.

“When you have your eggs that you brought from your farm to sell at Wuse market, the association of egg sellers will tell you that you have to sell to them at cheaper rates, while they resell to consumers at higher prices.”

The acting executive vice-chairman, while repeating what was earlier said on their social media page at the event, said although the commission was not a price control agency, it was deeply committed to addressing the rapid rise in food prices which was affecting consumers.

“The surge in food prices can be attributed to various factors, including market cartels, price fixing, hoarding and gouging or lack of transparency in pricing.

“FCCPC is actively engaged in combating these challenges to ensure fair pricing and protect consumers’ interests,” he said.

He recalled the consumers’ extortion and deceptive pricing that led to the sealing of the headquarters of a popular supermarket in Abuja recently by the commission, he said that the supermarket had complied with 90 per cent of their guidelines.

Abdullahi assured that the commission would continue to monitor supermarkets to ensure effective consumer protection.