Despite recent positive shifts in the naira’s value against the dollar, concerns persist over the escalating prices of essential goods and services in Nigeria. In response, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) is gearing up to tackle traders suspected of unjustly inflating prices, particularly in the rice market and other sectors.

Dr. Adamu Abdullahi, the Ag. Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the FCCPC, conveyed this resolve in a statement shared via social media. This announcement follows reports indicating a gradual decline in domestic commodity prices due to the naira’s strengthening against major currencies. Nevertheless, certain traders have been slow to adjust their prices accordingly, prompting FCCPC’s intervention.

Abdullahi emphasized the Commission’s commitment to safeguarding Nigerian consumers from exploitation, declaring that FCCPC agents are intensifying surveillance efforts in both formal and informal markets. Their aim is to identify and penalize companies found guilty of unjust price hikes through enforcement actions.

“The Commission remains dedicated to consumer education and empowerment,” Abdullahi affirmed. “We will launch advocacy campaigns to raise awareness on price gouging and unfair trade practices, equipping consumers with the knowledge to make informed choices and report any suspicious activities.”

While the FCCPC acknowledges its limited direct control over pricing, it vows to leverage existing legal frameworks to enforce fair competition and protect consumer rights. This entails closely monitoring price fluctuations, addressing consumer grievances, and prosecuting companies engaged in anti-competitive behavior such as price-fixing and cartel formation.

Furthermore, the FCCPC pledges collaboration with other regulatory bodies to develop a unified response to combat anti-competitive practices and enhance consumer protection measures. Abdullahi reiterated the Commission’s dedication to fostering a level playing field in the marketplace and encouraged consumers to report any suspected price gouging or unfair trade practices.

In light of financial analysts’ observations regarding the lag time between foreign exchange gains and commodity price adjustments, efforts to stabilize foreign exchange rates by the Nigerian Central Bank governor, Olayemi Cardoso, continue. The persistent impact of currency devaluation on inflation rates underscores the urgency of FCCPC’s interventions to ensure fair pricing practices and a competitive marketplace for all Nigerians.

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