FCCPC Moves To Regulate Food Prices In Nigeria
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) have said it will tackle anti-competitive conduct by the market’s association which now operates as a cartel.
The Executive Vice-President of FCCPC, Mr. Babatunde Irukera made this known during a parley between stakeholders tagged “Fair Food Prices in Nigeria, Multi-stakeholder Workshop” organized by the FCCPC in partnership with Consumer International- an international NGO.
According to him, “It is associations, whether in input supplies, in fertilizer or market traders’ association that constitute cartels that are increasing food prices.”
He further explained the importance of trade associations to business but complained that limitations such as control of supplies are beyond the actions of trade associations
In his words, “Trade associations are vital to business; they are important to the well-being of society, but there are limitations on what they should engage in.
“One of the most important limitations is the control of supplies or affecting trade and commerce in a manner that reflects in the price.”
He also tasked governments and regulators with the need to focus on hard decisions, commitment, and strategies to deal with these cartels.
Irukera also clarified that the FCCPC is not only to regulate big companies or the formal sector but also the informal sector. The purpose of competition regulation is to unlock the market and enable it to behave the way it should.
“Any action by an association or a group or combination of businesses that affect or diminish free market competition is wrong and most unacceptable when it happens in foods and worst when it happens in a place like Nigeria, with rising poverty, population and inflation on citizens with limited income and the amount of disposable income that is spent on food.
“Part of the things we will confront is how these associations operate. What is the strategy for advocacy in dealing with them, and beyond that when advocacy fails what is the strategy for enforcement?”