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FCCPC to sign MOU with retail shop owners


The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC has concluded plans to sign a memorandum of Understanding with supermarket operators / Retail shops associations to check irregularities in prices of goods displayed on the shelves and payment points , price gouging and none display of prices of goods as this would go a long way in protecting the interest of consumers.

Speaking at a meeting with members of the National Association of Supermarket Operators of Nigeria / Retail Council of Nigeria the acting Executive Vice Chairman of FCCPC, Dr. Adamu Abdullahi said that both the FCCPC and the associations have agreed to form a technical committee that would facilitate the signing of the MoU to curtail the excesses of some supermarket owners and check price guodging.
“We have agreed to form a small technical committee that would now look at having an MoU and with that we would have an understanding and we are going to work together henceforth

“We are going to have a lot of capacity building among us. We understand each other, we understand their businesses and they understand us from the side of regulators. That way we would have a lot of mileage and in the same manner we achieve positive results,” Abdullahi disclosed.

The FCCPC boss reiterated that having discussions and understanding with the operators would make things easier for the consumers and put a check on deliberate extortions.

“All we are after is to ensure that the consumers have a fair share in the market space,” he said.

Dr Abdullahi added that the market associations are not making things easy for the consumers because of taxes and price guoging..

“The concerns we have in the retail business especially the formal sector is this issue of price display on products. This has been a major concern for us because it was what led to the sealing of a major supermarket in Abuja

“The price displayed at the counter is different from what you pay and that is misleading and deceptive as long as the regulations are concerned,” he said.

He urged retail marketers to ensure that the price they tag on their products on the shelves is the same the consumer pays when making payments.

“Retail supermarkets, your prices on the shelves must be the same price when the person comes to pay for the product he has picked. So price transparency is of utmost importance to us,” the acting EVC added.

He added that FCCPC would ensure that other regulatory agencies like that Standard Organisation of Nigeria and the National Agency for Foods Administration and Control, would do what they are supposed to do.

“We would now find ways and means that other agencies like the SON and NAFDAC to ensure that they do what they are supposed to do

“We already have an MoU with some of these agencies,” Abdullahi averred.

Even though Abdullahi admitted that price control is not part of their jobs, he however, said that the agency is also very interested in fighting exorbitant prices.

“The fact is that we are not a price regulatory agency, we don’t control prices but we ensure that there is a level playing field so that the market is open and people can come in and sell. The price dictates whether you sell your products or not as far as we are concerned

“Because, the decision is now on the person who wants to buy it. And he is guided by his pocket. The pocket dictates for him or her what product to buy as far as they have quality and have been approved by the necessary regulatory agencies,”

“We feel that it is fair if the government is trying to bring down the exchange rate, people should also play their parts to supplement the efforts of the government,” Abdullahi said.

Earlier in a remark, the Chairman of the Retail Council of Nigeria, Mr. Heresh Keswani, who listed some peculiar challenges faced by retailers in Nigeria including power generation, taxes and consumer behavior including returning of goods after purchase said there are four pillars of retail business including brand owner, Brand representative , retailers and the consumers.

“As you know the current retail is the second generation the first generation died many years ago. And the second generation which has many brands built up many years are also struggling to be in business and we all know the reason they are struggling

“Because being a complaint trader in Nigeria is expensive, to pay salaries on time, pay bills and follow the rules, it is an expensive one,” he said.

He said that the group is focused on ensuring the welfare of consumers.

Keswani promised that the association would continue to focus on the welfare of retailers.

“We all here are law abiding companies we would continue to focus of the welfare of the consumers as FCCPC is focusing on,” Keswani states.

According to him, the journey of a product getting to the consumers is not from the retailer to the consumers.

“Retailers are not brand owners or manufactures they are representatives of brands. Most retailers buy from distributors who again represents the brand

“The whole idea of the meeting is for us to sear down and work on the value chain, let’s understand who takes responsibility on certain things whether it is that of the manufacturers or not. Our responsibilities as retailers is how well you display the prices,” he concluded.