The Nigerian government has warned vendors across the country against increasing the price of face mask and sanitizer due to coronavirus outbreak.
According to a statement released on Saturday February 29 by Babatunde Iruekera who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), vendors were told that abusing citizens’ sensitivity, apprehension, anxiety and vulnerability, especially during emergencies that could adversely affect national security is a violation of law.
Vendors were also told that they risk getting prosecuted if they use the confirmation of coronavirus in Nigeria as an excuse to increase the price of the protective items.
The statement reads:
“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 S.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.
“Considering the circumstances and the vital national interest/security this illegal conduct undermines, the Commission intends to strongly enforce the full letter of the law, including the fullest extent of penalties associated with this conduct.”