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FCCPC seals Abuja supermarket over unfair practices, moves against price fixing

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has sealed 4U Supermarket formally known as Amigo Supermarket in Abuja over unethical conduct.

According to reports the supermarket was sealed on Thursday over unfair practices by its management during an enforcement exercise by officials of FCCPC in parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Officials of FCCPC were at several supermarkets in Abuja to initiate a campaign to enforce proper display of prices and adherence to quantity regulations.

The action by the commission is a direct response to concerns raised by consumers about the rising costs of goods which go against the recent strengthening of the naira against major currencies.

The Commission said price discrepancies remain a significant issue.

Intensifies monitoring, enforcement against price fixing

Meanwhile, the FCCPC had earlier announced its intention to address the rising prices and protect consumers by enforcing fair competition and consumer protection provisions.

The acting Chief Executive Officer of the commission, Adamu Abdullahi, in a statement, said the continuous rise in prices of goods and services despite the appreciation of the naira is unacceptable, noting that the FCCPC is committed to protecting consumers from exploitation.

He said the management of 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.

Abdullahi in the statement said,

  • ‘’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 Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) 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.
  • ‘’The FCCPC understands the significant financial strain these rising prices are placing on Nigerian households. As a result, the Commission is taking proactive steps to address this 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.’’

To collaborate with other groups associations, stakeholders

  • He added, ‘’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.
  • ‘’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 through contact@fccpc.gov.ng. Together, we can work towards a more stable, fair, and competitive marketplace for all Nigerians.’’

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