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Naira appreciation: FCCPC’s agents to monitor prices of goods in  Nigerian markets — CEO 

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has ordered its officials to monitor and enforce fair pricing practices both in formal and informal markets in Nigeria amid the rising cost of living.  

This is contained in a statement from its Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, on Wednesday, April 17.  

FCCPC argued that despite the recent appreciation of the Naira against the dollar, consumers continue to face escalating costs without a corresponding decrease in prices, adding that such a situation is not acceptable 

The commission therefore said that its agents will increase surveillance of all market sectors, including formal and informal settings where there is potential for businesses to exploit market conditions by unjustly raising prices, and to enhance enforcement measures. 

According to Abdullahi, the agents will collaborate with trade associations, farmer groups, and other relevant stakeholders to identify and eliminate unwarranted entry barriers across different sectors, fight price-fixing, and break up cartels. 

“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. 
  • “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,” Abdullahi said. 

Backstory 

In an earlier statement by FCCPC, reported by NewsTimes, the commission had urged Nigerians to report unfair trade practices to them.  

  • This was in response to citizens’ complaints that despite the appreciation of Naira against the Dollar, consumers continue to pay high prices for goods and services in the market.  
  • While the Dollar has fallen significantly against the Naira both in the official and parallel market, headline inflation and food Inflation continue to rise, as per recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics.  
  • The recent data from NBS revealed that food rose to 40.01% year-on-year as of March 2024, marking an increase of 15.56 percentage points from 24.45% in March 2023. 
  • This surge in food inflation can be attributed to rising prices for items such as garri, millet, and akpu uncooked fermented (all part of the bread and cereals category), as well as yam tuber, water yam, and others.  

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