Following the now-trending reports that prices of face mask, sanitizers and hand washers have now gone up as the first case of Coronavirus was confirmed in Lagos, Nigeria, the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has issued a memo stating that inordinate practice during national public health concern violates both moral codes and extant law.
In a statement signed by Babatunde Irukera, Chief Executive Officer of the agency, he noted that abusing citizens’ sensitivity, apprehension, anxiety, and vulnerability, especially during emergencies that could adversely affect national security is a violation of the law.
“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”, he noted.
“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.”