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FCCPC shuts supermarket in Abuja over ‘unfair pricing, expired products’

FCCPC shuts supermarket in Abuja over ‘unfair pricing, expired products’
April 18
14:57 2024

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says it raided two 4U Signature supermarkets located in Wuse area of Abuja.

On Thursday, the stores were raided by an enforcement team led by Adamu Ahmed Abdullahi, FCCPC acting executive vice chair.

Prior to the raid, FCCPC, on April 17, urged Nigerians to report businesses hiking prices of goods, saying that despite the naira appreciating against the dollar, costs of commodities are still soaring.

The commission said it will monitor and investigate price hikes in the markets to protect consumers from exploitation.

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FCCPC said it was aware of the concerns expressed by Nigerians regarding the continued rise in prices of goods and services.

The supermarket’s management was accused by FCCPC of overcharging customers by implementing prices different from those listed on the shelf tags.

During the raid, FCCPC said it also noticed the sale of expired products.

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According to FCCPC, products of companies that have long stopped production, such as Royal Stallion and Caprice, were discovered in the store.

Rice produced by Royal Stallion and Caprice — packaged in 5 kilograms (kg) and 10kg — had a production date of August 2022 and is expected to expire in August 2026.

However, weevils were discovered in the packaged rice.

FCCPC said 34 bags of rice were evacuated from one of the stores.

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The commission added that it shut the second store and evacuated 66 bags of rice

Yunusa Yusuf, the general manager of 4U Signature, told journalists he was unaware Caprice and Royal Stallion had stopped production.

“We just got to know but unfortunately our supplier was still bringing them to us. We will ensure that we expose the supplier to the commission,” he said.

Yusuf also said the company would improve its oversight on products allowed into the supermarket henceforth.

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RAID WAS TO PREVENT EXTORTION

Abdullahi said the raid was to ensure prices in the market reflect what is displayed by the stores.

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“Nowadays, we have found out that there is a lot of pretence in what is happening in some supermarkets around the major cities in the country,” he said.

“You have seen what we have done earlier with other supermarkets. Today, we are at this particular supermarket and that practice is still ongoing.

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“When you go to the shelf the prices that are displayed are different from what appears when you come to pay at the counter. That is unacceptable because you are fleecing consumers.

“Some of the items do not have prices attached to them at all. So you are at the mercy of whoever is operating the counter, he can put whatever price he wants and that is what you have to pay. That is not acceptable. The practice should no longer continue.”

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Abdullahi further said the commission would continue its monitoring exercise on April 19.

“You would see us in the open market. What we want to do there is to find out what associations are doing. These associations sit down among themselves and fix prices. That is not acceptable. They are forming cartels. Cartels are not allowed in the laws of Nigeria,” he said.

“In addition, we found out another thing that really baffles us. Nobody knows that Stallion Group has stopped production for a very long time.

“What is happening is that some people re-bag their own local rice pretending that it is the same stallion or Caprice rice that people are used to.”

On February 16, FCCPC sealed Sahad Stores, a supermarket located in the Garki area of Abuja for engaging in “misleading pricing and lack of transparency in pricing”.

Sahad Stores was reopened the next day.

Below are photos from the raid at 4U Signature supermarket.

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