Sky-high prices: We’ll use legal framework to enforce consumer protection – FCCPC

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) Wednesday said it is aware of the concerns expressed by Nigerians regarding the continued rise in prices of goods and services.

The commission in a statement signed by its acting Executive Vice-Chairperson/Chief Executive Officer, Adamu Abdullahi, said despite the recent appreciation of the naira against the dollar, consumers continue to face escalating costs without a corresponding decrease in prices.

Abdullahi stated  that the situation is unacceptable while noting that the commission is committed to protecting consumers from exploitation.

He said the commission understands the significant financial strain these rising prices are placing on Nigerian households.

As a result, he said, the commission is taking proactive steps to address the issue.

“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 businesses found to be engaging in anti-competitive practices such as price-fixing, price gouging or cartel formation.

“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.

He added that 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, he said, will encourage increased competition, ultimately leading to lower prices for consumers.

“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 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. Together, we can work towards a more stable, fair, and competitive marketplace for all Nigerians,” he said.