Coronavirus: Increase in prices of protective products unreasonable – FCCPC

Coronavirus: Increase in prices of protective products unreasonable – FCCPC

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says the arbitrary increase in the prices of protective face masks and latex gloves by suppliers and retailers of the products is unreasonable.

A statement by Mr Babatunde Irukera, the Chief Executive Officer of the commission, in Abuja on Saturday described the practice as a violation of both moral codes and extant laws.

Irukera explained that suppliers and retailers were exploiting the national public health concern caused by the coronavirus outbreak to make gains.

According to him, the commission intends to strongly enforce the full letter of the law, including the fullest extent of penalties associated with the conduct.

“It has come to the attention of the FCCPC that certain suppliers and retailers are taking undue advantage of citizens and engaging in unconscionable trade practices with respect to basic safety and protective apparel.

“They include face masks and latex gloves, as well as personal hygiene products like sanitisers and anti-bacterial wipes, because these products are relevant and necessary in preventing infection or spread of corona virus (COVID-19).

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

“Specifically, section 17(s) of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) prohibits “obnoxious trade practices”, or the “unscrupulous exploitation of consumers”.

“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 section 108 (1)(b) and (c), FCCPA.

“Any exercise or exploitation of undue pressure in selling or 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,’ he explained.

Irukera therefore advised consumers to be vigilant and report such unreasonable or arbitrary exploitative price increase or trade practices to the commission by telephone on 08056002020 or 08056003030, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..