FCCPC to enforce fair competition for price reduction

Though it does not have the power to regulate prices, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) will deploy an existing legal framework to enforce fair competition and consumer protection provisions to achieve fair prices of commodities.

The commission said it will rely on Sections 17 (a), (e), (g), (l), (s); 72(2)(a); 108(1)(b); 124; and 127(1)(a)(b) of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) 2018 to ensure there is fair competition amongst manufacturers and sellers.

While the FCCPC cannot directly regulate prices, the Commission stated that it would 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,” it said.

The Commission hinted that 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.

It added that the operatives would 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.

FCCPC said this step would encourage increased competition, ultimately leading to lower prices for consumers. It reiterated its commitment to educating consumers on 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 stated.

The Acting Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, noted that despite the recent appreciation of the naira against the dollar, consumers facing escalating costs without a corresponding decrease in prices, adding that the situation is unacceptable, and the FCCPC is committed to protecting consumers from exploitation.

It added: “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.”

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