Babatunde Irukera, the Chief Executive Officer of the FCCPC, made this announcement on Tuesday....
By Kofi Emeka
The Federal Government, in collaboration with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), will commence imposing penalties on members of trade associations found guilty of engaging in anti-competitive practices and unreasonably raising food prices.
Babatunde Irukera, the Chief Executive Officer of the FCCPC, made this announcement on Tuesday during a forum organized by the commission to address the issue of fair food prices. The forum, titled ‘Fair food prices in Nigeria: A high-level forum for better competition,’ served as a platform for discussing ways to ensure fair competition in the food market.
He said, “We will continue to monitor the market, and where we find that prices are excessive or find exploitative conduct, or find that consumers are being taken advantage of, we will intervene. One of the ways of intervening is unlocking the bottlenecks.
“That is what I just said, associations that come together to determine at what price beans should be sold, associations that come together to decide that nobody in a particular market should take yam, beans or rice from any other person except their members, we will proceed against them.”
As stated by Irukera, certain trade unions have formed cartels to partake in anti-competitive behaviors, resulting in the unjustifiable inflation of prices for essential food products.
He emphasized that it has become crucial to adopt a firm stance against arbitrary increases in food prices, particularly following the president’s recent declaration of food security as a national emergency.
Irukera said, “Competition regulation and consumer protection is not only to regulate the big companies. It is not only to regulate the formal sector. It is also to regulate the informal sector. In a place like Nigeria, it is even more critical to find a strategy to regulate the informal sector because, at the end of the day the vast majority of our economy is informal.