FCCPC to intensify price monitoring in markets as naira appreciates against dollar

By Stanley Onyeka, Lagos

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), determined to prevent further slide in the Naira, says it will intensify its monitoring and investigation against unusual price hikes in the marketplace.

This is in a bid to address complaints filed by consumers, and also to take action against any businesses found to be engaging in anti-competitive practices such as price-fixing, price gouging or cartel formation.

The Commission’s Acting Executive Vice Chairman, Adamu Abdullahi, in a statement today, noted that “Despite the recent appreciation of the Naira against the dollar, consumers continue to face escalating costs without a corresponding decrease in prices.”

This situation, he said:” is unacceptable, and the FCCPC is committed to protecting consumers from exploitation.”

Abdullahi, who expressed concerns over the plight of Nigerians regarding the continued rise in prices of goods and services, assured that “While the FCCPC cannot directly regulate prices, the Commission will utilise its existing legal framework to enforce fair competition and consumer protection provisions.”

Despite the recent appreciation of the Naira against the dollar, consumers continue to face escalating costs without a corresponding decrease in prices.

To this end, the Commission said it “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.”

While doing these, the Commission also expressed its commitment 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,” it added.

The FCCPC will also collaborate with other relevant regulatory bodies to develop a comprehensive and coordinated response to anti-competitive practices, price gouging, and other consumer protection issues, even as it encouraged consumers to continue reporting suspected price gouging and other unfair trade practices through contact@fccpc.gov.ng.

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