The Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Mr. Babatunde Irukera, has warned that any further abuse of consumer rights by supermarkets would be prosecuted.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ engagement with the National Association of Supermarket Operators of Nigeria (NASON) in the six geo-political zones, he said the commission was however, determined to work with the operators to achieve efficient consumer protection aimed at reducing anti-competitive practices.
The consumer rights protection boss warned that acts of arbitrary price increase and rejection of returned items as well as sale if fake products would henceforth be brought to book.
Represented by the commission’s acting Director, Legal, Mr. Tam Tamunokonbia, Irukera said the commission’s COVID-19 team had gone round to observe how consumers and operators were responding to COVID-19 issues.
He said: “We visited a couple of supermarkets and we also watched how you were going about your businesses.
”One of the experiences we had was that sanitisers that were been used or sold, some of them were fake without the required ethanol.”
According to him: “There were influx of fake and substandard items all over the place. Not just sanitisers, we saw some in powdered milk and cement.”
He therefore, urged them to adhere strictly to the FCCPC Act to avoid being held accountable, stressing that complaints should be resolved in a timely manner to avoid the commission’s wrath.
He added that moving forward, every products in supermarkets must clearly bear their lifespan.
Also, FCCPC Head of Enforcement, Mr. Kelechi Oko, pointed out that the law particularly frowned upon arbitrary hike in prices in the face of the pandemic.
The commission had decried the influx of counterfeited and substandard consumables at supermarkets as Nigerians grappled with the impact of the pandemic.
However, FCCPC Head, Consumer Education, Mrs. Joy Lekwuwa, had earlier set the tone of the meeting, explaining that it was designed to interact with stakeholders to further enhance harmonious working relationship with the government and public.