FCCPC Storms Bauchi Market, Launches Investigation On Rising Prices Of Foodstuffs.

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) on Friday stormed Musa Lawal market and launched an investigation into the exploitative hikes in the prices of foodstuffs in the state.

Speaking at the market survey, the vice chairman of the commission, Adamu Abdullahi, said a survey carried out in marketplaces showed that the food chain and distribution sector including wholesalers and retailers are allegedly engaging in conspiracy, price gouging, hoarding, and other unfair tactics.

Represented by the FCCPC coordinator for North East Zone, Dauda Waja Abdullahi condemned the acts adding that the development has contributed to a rise in the cost of living.

He said, “FCCPC’s surveillance efforts suggest participants in the food chain and distribution sector including wholesalers and retailers are allegedly engaged in conspiracy, price gouging, hoarding of food.

“These unfair tactics restrict and distort competition in the market, restrict the supply of food, manipulate and inflate the price of food in an indiscriminate manner. These obnoxious, unscrupulous, exploitative practices are illegal under the FCCPA.”

According to him, FCCPC has been engaging in fact-finding interactions with Traders’ Associations and Marketers to ascertain factors responsible for the continuous hike in food prices.

He further stated that the fact-finding inquiry is an investigative mission to gather information directly from the sources and stakeholders in major markets, particularly executives, market unions, sellers, and consumers.

“The commission’s priority remains to unlock the markets and address key consumer protection and competition issues affecting the prices of commodities in the food sector.”

Abdullahi said after the market survey, the Commission would develop “a concise report of its inquiry and make recommendations to the government in accordance with Section 17(b) of the FCCPA and initiate broad-based policies and review economic activities in Nigeria to identify and address anti-competitive, anti-consumer protection and restrictive practices to make markets more competitive while also ensuring fair pricing for consumers.”

Meanwhile, traders at the Muda Lawal market have attributed the recent hike in commodity prices to their suppliers, pointing to increased wholesale costs as the primary cause.

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