Following a report by SaharaReporters detailing how prices of hand sanitisers and face masks had been significantly increased by some pharmacies and supermarkets in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the Federal Competition Consumer Protection Commission has said that it would sanction anyone found to be in the practice.
In a statement on Sunday by Chief Executive of FCCPC, Babatunde Irukera, the agency said the manipulation of prices of protective gears was a gross violation of the law and would not be tolerated.
The commission added that it would prosecute owners of stores and pharmacies found to be engaging in such act.
The statement reads, “This unusual and inordinate practice of unreasonably increasing the price of these products in an indiscriminate manner on account of the national public health concern (Coronavirus) violates both moral codes and extant laws.
“Abusing citizens’ sensitivity, apprehension, anxiety and vulnerability especially during emergencies that could adversely affect national security is a violation of law.”
Recall that SaharaReporters had on Friday reported how Abuja residents scrambled for nose masks and hand sanitisers, leading to a significant increase in prices and eventually scarcity of the products.
In some stores and pharmacies visited, one face mask now sell for N500 instead of N100.
Also, hand sanitisers now sell for N1,500 and N3000 for smaller and bigger sizes respectively.
A pharmacist, who spoke to our correspondent, said there was an increase in demand for those items following the confirmation of an Italian citizen infected with the virus in Lagos.