By Ginika Okoye
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has admonished consumers to stop unnecessary panic buying to avoid products’ price hike.
Mr Babatunde Irukera, the Chief Executive Officer of the commission in a statement, said that panic buying promotes anxiety.
According to him, the recent purchase of chloroquine raises questions of fairness both by suppliers and retailers.
Irukera regretted that consumers insisted on purchasing all available inventory of the drug, even when personal needs were inconsistent with the available inventory.
He noted that although the commission had warned suppliers and retailers of protective nose masks and sanitisers against arbitrary price hike, but some of them still engaged in it.
“The commission is determined to ensure that suppliers and retailers do not manipulate supply to distort the market or promote high prices or engage in excessive pricing of relevant products.
“The commission intends to enforce the law with respect to fair competition and consumer protection.
“We will deploy all available statutory tools to prevent profiteering and exploitation in this inauspicious season.
“The commission urges suppliers, retailers, online shopping platforms, as well as individuals who buy to resell not to charge unreasonable or inflated prices.’’
According to Irukera, violators will be criminally prosecuted where the evidence sufficiently supports same.