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Coronavirus: The Federal Government wants You to Report any Store Hiking Prices of Hand Sanitisers & Face Masks

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The Federal Government wants You to Report any Store Hiking Prices of Hand Sanitizers & Face Masks | BellaNaijaSeveral social media users have shared how prices of personal hygiene products in stores have shot up since the report that a man has tested positive for coronavirus in Lagos.

In a particularly bizarre case, a Twitter user, @MsPhareedah, shared that she bought a bottle of hand sanitiser for ₦19,950 from a pharmacy in Gbagada.

Now the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) is saying that they will clamp down on such stores.

The commission’s chief executive, Babatunde Irukera, said in a statement that the manipulation of prices over the coronavirus is a violation of the law, The Cable reports.

He asked that folks report “such unreasonable or arbitrary exploitative price increase or trade practices” to the commission by telephone on 08056002020 or 08056003030, or by email at [email protected]

He said:

This unusual and inordinate practice of unreasonably increasing the price of these products in an indiscriminate manner on account of the national public health concern (Coronavirus) violates both moral codes and extant law,” the statement read.

Abusing citizens’ sensitivity, apprehension, anxiety and vulnerability, especially during emergencies that could adversely affect national security is a violation of law.

Specifically, S. 17(s) of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) prohibits ‘obnoxious trade practices’, or the -unscrupulous exploitation of consumers’.

The Commission’s surveillance efforts have revealed that some otherwise reputable pharmacies and department stores are engaging in price gouging and manipulating supplies in a manner that distorts the market, or temporarily restricts availability in order to unreasonably/unfairly increase prices. Any conspiracy, combination, agreement or arrangement to unduly limit or manipulate supply, in order to unreasonably enhance price or otherwise restrain competition is a criminal offence under S.108(1)(b) and (c), FCCPA.

Any exercise or exploitation of undue pressure in selling of the sale of goods or services, or price manipulation between displayed, and selling price are also serious violations of the FCCPA under Sections 115(3) and 124(1). Taking advantage of the possibility of infection by a dangerous communicable disease to control supply, or unilaterally increase prices is predatory as it preys on the desperation of citizens.

Photo Credit: @medibcc

5 Comments

  1. by_stander

    March 1, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    (PT1)
    These ones should just shut the hell up, anybody can sell their product for any amount that they like, unless you are now saying Nigeria is now a socialist economy.

    which we are starting to suspect anyways, since almost all the people with money are engaged in some type of rent seeking.

    Or you want to argue that the product or they themselves are regulated or subsidized by the government.

    Any competent Judge should immediately throw that case out of court.

  2. by_stander

    March 1, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    (PT2)
    You have to be a complete idiot to be threatening business owners in Nigeria that you didn’t support in anyway or form, with a criminal act for selling their product for what price they want. You have to be raving mad.

    They are two possible things that will happen;

    Either they stop selling completely
    or the product moves unto the black market.

    Why are your stupid banks and CBN not giving loans to people so they can afford to buy? or businesses so that they can bring it in bulk at much lower cost? have you held the banks and CBN for criminal act? have you even removed all duties,taxes and levies?

  3. by_stander

    March 1, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    (PT3)
    You don’t have any powers or legal grounds to control what price a merchant will sell their product, even if you sneaked it into any stupid act.

    The only recourse you have is to compete directly with them or ensure people can compete directly with them.

    Bring your own product and sell it at much lower price or give it out for free!

    Stop behaving like lunatic rent-seekers!

    When 1 million people need a single bottle of hand-sanitizer the price can easily go from N100 to N1 million – that is the effect of supply and demand.

  4. by_stander

    March 1, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    (PT4)
    I can even understand price-fixing, which is wrong and usually arises from monopoly and formation of cartels, for that you are going to have to prove all the pharmacies/store in Nigeria are in collusion. That’s years of investigation and data gathering.

    And after all these years, you have not gone to hold all the rent-seeking Lawyers and Accountants that wrote their own Monopoly for unregulated 3rd party fees into law as criminals.

    Atleast these lawyers and accountants are responsible for everything that is wrong with Nigeria today.

    It’s people who are trying to make a living that you want to start calling criminals, God punish you. when the price of their food and other expenses starts going up, are you going to come to their rescue?

  5. by_stander

    March 1, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    (PT5)
    You watched as rent-seekers stagnated and destroyed your country for years, those people that were taking care of their own country and people, you were thinking they were doing it for decorative purposes right?

    See eh anybody that can not afford the price of protective gear, better go and collect their money back from any Lawyer or Accountant they can find. You have more rights to do that, than to be telling people you didn’t help in anyway, what price they can be selling their goods.

    It would even seem you people at FCCPA are the ones that want to trigger chaos. That statement is enough for those that have these things to now take them off-the-shelve and keep it for their own personal use.

    The next step for you is to go and start seizing their property ba?

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