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FG Seals Off Top Abuja Store As Crackdown On Hoarding, Price Fixing Begins

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Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC)

Twenty-four hours after President Bola Tinubu unveiled plans to tackle factors responsible for food crisis, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), sealed Sahad Store, a popular supermarket in the Garki area of Abuja.

The management of the supermarket was accused of shortchanging customers by charging prices other than the price tag at the shelves.

The enforcement was led by FCCPC Acting Executive Vice Chairman, Adamu Ahmed Abdullahi.

Briefing journalists on the sidelines of the event, Abdullahi said the commission’s preliminary investigation confirmed that the management of the supermarket were short changing customers.

He said the store would remain sealed until the completion of the further investigation.

“What we have found out that these people are doing is misleading pricing and lack of transparency in the pricing, which is against Section 115 (3) of the law that says a consumer is not required to pay a price for any good or service higher than the one that’s on display.”

“Section 155 states that any corporate person that contravenes is liable to a fine of 100 million naira or even more and the directors of the company themselves are liable upon conviction payment of 10 million naira each or imprisonment of six months or both.

“What we have done today is to make sure that they comply with the law. We initially called them to come and defend themselves, but failed to show up. In the long run, they sent a lawyer whom we asked if he was familiar with the facts of the case. He said he wasn’t.

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“To unseal the store, they have to make sure that they do what is required to be done.”

This comes after the Federal Government in collaboration with state governors agreed to set up a committee to tackle the issue of hoarding of produce in the country.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this after the meeting President Bola Tinubu held with governors, heads of Security Agencies and some ministers at the Presidential villa, Abuja, on Thursday.

Addressing State House correspondents, the information minister, who accused some traders of hoarding food products, said the security agencies had been mandated to liaise with governors to tackle the menace.

According to the minister, “Mr. President has agreed to set up a committee to deepen the conversation that has happened at the just-concluded meeting. Of course, you know that it is impossible to complete most of the issues that were raised at the meeting so it is going to be a continuous one. ⁣

“The National Security Adviser, the Director General of the state services, and the Inspector General of Police have been directed to coordinate with the state governors to look at the issue of those hoarding commodities. ⁣

“At this point, the nation requires foods to be brought out to the people so that we can control prices and put food on the table of most Nigerians. Other commodity traders are busy hoarding these commodities so that Nigerians will suffer or they will make more money as a result. ⁣

“So the governors and Mr. President have taken this decision that security agencies will collaborate with the state governors to ensure that this ends.”

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