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Food inflation: FG seals Abuja supermarket over ‘arbitrary pricing’ of items

BY Ayodele Oluwafemi

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The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has sealed Sahad store, a supermarket located in the Garki area of Abuja.

The supermarket was sealed on Friday after an enforcement team led by Adamu Ahmed Abdullahi, acting executive vice chair of the commission, visited the store.

Speaking with journalists, Abdullahi accused the supermarket of shortchanging customers by engaging in “misleading pricing and lack of transparency in pricing”.

The acting vice chairman said the supermarket would remain closed until completion of the investigation.

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He said the practice contravened section 155 (3) of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) and the fine amounted to N100 million or more.

He said the commission had earlier invited the supermarket management to come and defend themselves but they failed to show up.

“What we have found out is that they are engaging in misleading pricing and lack of transparency in their pricing which is against section 155 (3) of the FCCPA,” he said.

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“It is an obnoxious practice and amounts to violation of rights under the FCCPA.

“Section 155 of FCCPA states that any corporate person that contravenes this law is liable to a fine of N100 million or even more.

“We found out that they are contravening this law and made sure that we came to tell them that our mandate is very clear.

“What we have come here today to do is to make sure that they complied with the law.

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“We called them to defend themselves but they failed to show up and in the long run, they sent a lawyer and the lawyer is not familiar with the case.

“We do not have a choice than to seal off the premises until they comply with the provisions of the law.”

The development is coming less than twenty-four hours after President Bola Tinubu directed security agencies to go after those hoarding food items.

After a meeting with the state governors, Tinubu said his administration is dedicated to evolving home-grown solutions to tackle food security challenges in the country

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The president said he will not establish a price control board or approve the importation of food as measures to address the hardship in the country.

“I reiterated this commitment during my emergency meeting today at the State House, with all 36 state governors, the Vice-President, Kashim Shettima, the National Security Adviser, the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of the DSS, and some ministers,” Tinubu had said.

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Over the past few months, the prices of food items have skyrocketed, triggering protests in some parts of the country.

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