The Federal Government has warned companies and businesses against using the coronavirus outbreak as an excuse to increase prices of items in high demand.

Babatunde Irukera, Chief Executive Officer, Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), in a statement on Saturday, warned of consequences.

Noting that the agency’s employees currently work remotely, he said that the commission currently prioritizes COVID-19 related complaints and issues.
Irukera assured the public of continued surveillance to prevent exploitation by manufacturers, importers, distributors, or retailers.

He listed such strategies as price gouging and supply manipulation of hygiene products, medications and other medical devices/supplies.

Irukera disclosed that the commission had the power to stop unfair tactics or any other similar conduct in marketing or supply of goods and services and that violators could be prosecuted.

“We have created a dedicated platform for receiving information/complaints or intelligence about these practices where consumers can provide details of conduct, the perpetrator, location and where applicable, pictures that will aid investigation.

“The dedicated platform is telephone number 07086159973 and can receive messages, images and videos by WhatsApp,” he said.

The statement encouraged consumers to stay safe and comply with all government directives meant to stop the spread of the global pandemic.