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FCCPC blames illegal cartel for hike in food prices

FCCPC protects and promote the interest and welfare of consumers in Nigeria. Photo: FCCPC

Concerned about unfair hike in food prices, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) is to investigate the activities of Trade Associations that negate the primary objective of the Associations.

Babatunde Irukera, the Executive Chairman of FCCPC, made this known during a stakeholders’ workshop on fair food prices in Nigeria, organised by “Consumer International” in Lagos.

He said the investigation became necessary given the unfair hike in food prices and the recent declaration of state of emergency on food insecurity by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Mr Irukera, who pointed out that the issue of hoarding would equally be addressed, said trade associations have become illegal cartels and do not have the capacity to discuss pricing, supply or restricting supply or demand.

He explained that the FCCPC “does not have control over climate change” but will not give room for exploitation of Nigerians.

However, a representative of the Marketers and Traders Association of Nigeria, Mr Ayo Abiola, refuted the allegations that market associations were manipulating the prices of food items.

He emphasised that Nigerians shy away from focusing on the real factors responsible for food price hike including multiple taxations and extortions.

The Project Specialist, Consumer International, Mrs Davine Minayo said their responsibility entails gathering data on food prices, submit to policy makers and proffer solutions.

She said the organisation was targeting in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya for pilot scheme for the progamme.

The workshop was attended by representatives of Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Youth Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture, Consumer Advocacy and Empowerment Foundation and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Reporting by Chioma Ezike; Editing by Omolola Ameen and Annabel Nwachukwu