New Telegraph

FG Can’t Fix Prices of Certain Food Commodities in the Free Market –FCCPC

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commis- sion (FCCPC), said it is an aberration for the Federal Government to fix prices of certain food commodities. Doing so, FCCPC said, will negate the principles of the free market. As a way out, it said the Commission is working with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and In- vestment, other government agencies, consultants, and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to come up with measures to curb the excessive prices of commodities in the markets.

The Commission stated this position in a statement issued on Friday by its Acting Vice Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Dr. Adamu Abdullahi. His clarification is on the heels of a declaration by the Federal High Court ordering the Federal Government to fix the prices of certain food commodities. The prices of Petroleum commodities and essential services have spiraled amid inflation pressure. FCCPC described Court pronouncement as an unusual practice in a free market. It noted that the Com- mission was not a party to the suit; it is taking all steps to obtain the judgement of the Court and make appropriate responses.

He said: “For clarity, it is imperative to underscore that the Commission is not mandated to regulate prices. XI, and Section 88 of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA), the Commission may advise the President to fix the prices of certain goods and services, based on empirical evidence. “The Commission understands the natural apprehension consumers and businesses are experiencing.

“It, therefore, notes and welcomes continuing engagements and progressive measures to contain price gouging throughout the food distribution chain. “The Commission is working with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, other government agencies, consultants, and CSOs to come up with measures to curb the excessive prices of commodities in the markets.” On July 18, 2023, the Commission and Consumers International co-hosted the Fair Food Pricing Multi-stakeholders Workshop for the purpose of gathering information and evidence on anticompetitive activities such as price gouging, price fixing and other cartel conduct that lead to unfair food pricing.

The Commission firmly believes that empirical data about the cause of unfair prices in the food sector must be the basis for any enforcement exercise. It encourages the public or anyone with useful in- formation in the food chain industry, with respect to unlocking possible illegal, exclusionary or restrictive practices that contribute to unfair food prices to report the same to the Commission, through its designated portal.

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