• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Inflation: FCCPC moves against price-fixing, cartel formation

Inflation: FCCPC moves against price-fixing, cartel formation

By Favour Okpale

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) on Wednesday warned businesses against anti-competitive practices such as price-fixing, price gouging and cartel formation.

The commission said it was deploying personnel to monitor and investigate unusual hikes in prices of consumer goods and services in the country and would apply sanctions against businesses found culpable.

Adamu Abdullahi, acting executive vice chairman/CEO of FCCP, in a statement on Wednesday, said it was unacceptable that despite the recent appreciation of the naira against the dollar, consumers continue to face escalating costs without a corresponding decrease in prices.

He added that while it could not directly regulate prices, the commission would utilise its existing legal framework to enforce fair competition and consumer protection.

“The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is aware of the concerns expressed by Nigerians regarding the continued rise in prices of goods and services.

“Despite the recent appreciation of the naira against the dollar, consumers continue to face escalating costs without a corresponding decrease in prices. This situation is unacceptable, and the FCCPC is committed to protecting consumers from exploitation.

“While the FCCPC cannot directly regulate prices, the commission will utilise its existing legal framework to enforce fair competition and consumer protection provisions. This includes monitoring and investigating unusual price hikes, addressing complaints filed by consumers, and taking action against any business found to be engaging in anti-competitive practices such as price-fixing, price gouging or cartel formation.”

Abdullahi added that 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.

He said cooperatives 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.

According to him, it will encourage increased competition, ultimately leading to lower prices for consumers as 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,” he said

The FCCPC recognises the importance of working alongside other government agencies to tackle this complex issue. 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.

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 [email protected].