By Mojisola Oladele

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, visited some major markets in Osun State on a fact-finding mission to ascertain the factors responsible for the hike in food prices.

Radio Nigeria correspondent reports that the officials of the Commission visited Olufi Market in Ayedaade Local Government and Ifon Market in Orolu Local Government areas of the state.

The FCCPC South-West Zonal Coordinator, Mrs Janet Odo said the visit was to interact with traders’ associations and marketers to ascertain the factors responsible for the continuous hike in food prices in the country.

Mrs. Odo said the commission’s surveillance findings revealed that wholesalers and retailers were allegedly engaging in conspiracy, price gouging, hoarding, and distorting competition in markets across the nation.

She stressed that the visit was to verify the allegations and also sensitize traders on fair market prices.

Mrs. Odo said the FCCPC officials were able to interact with traders, consumers, and those in supply chains to determine the main cause of the hike in food prices.

She emphasized that the commission’s priority remains to unlock the markets and address key consumer protection and competition issues affecting the prices of commodities in the food sector.

“The whole essence is to ensure that the competition and consumers’ protection aspect of our mandate is being executed to ensure that consumers get fair pricing of food commodities.”

“We have been able to gather some facts in the two markets visited, and it will be collated, reviewed, and used as a point of advising the Federal Government.”

In separate interviews ,the leader of the market women association at Olufi Market, Mrs. Bukola Ogunyinka and the leader, market men association in Ifon Market, Mr Muniru Adeyeye, who explained that the hike in food prices was not the fault of the traders, claimed that the removal of the fuel subsidy led to increase in prices of food items.

“We are not the ones inflating the prices of food items. The removal of fuel subsidy, which is reflected in the cost of transportation, is responsible for this.” Mr. Muniru Adeyeye

Also a student, Mary Adetoye, who was in the market to buy food items, said the prices of the food items was getting out of the reach of the poor and appealed to the government to urgently intervene in the situation.

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