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FG reveals reasons for high cost of food stuff, other items

The Federal Government has revealed the factors responsible for the high cost of consumables and other items across the country.

Addressing journalists aster a visit to Masaka Market in Nasarawa on Friday, the director surveillance and investigation at the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Mrs B.A Adeyinka, blamed the situation on high cost of transportation among others.

She said the FCCPC has also released its findings from a comprehensive investigation into the factors contributing to the relentless increase in consumer costs.

According to her, the FCCPC has conducted extensive interviews with marketing executives and sellers across various sectors.

“Despite government efforts to stabilize the currency, prices remain high. Our findings point to a complex web of factors, including multiple layers of taxation and transportation costs, that are driving prices up,” she added.

According to the investigation, transportation costs are incurred at every stage of the supply chain, starting from the farmers who transport their produce to local markets, to the sellers who move goods to larger market squares, and finally to the retailers who deliver products to consumers.

“The cost of transportation is a significant burden on the sellers, and this cost is inevitably passed on to the consumer. For instance, a product that once cost N15,000 now sells for N50,000. This drastic increase is largely due to higher transportation expenses, the rising cost of pesticides, and security concerns in certain areas,” Adeyinka explained.

The investigation also highlighted the impact of the ‘herdsmen men crisis’ on rural farmers and the lack of intervention in these areas.

“Our first step is to compile a report on the multiple taxes affecting the market and advise the government on potential solutions.

We aim to unlock the market by reducing these taxes, thereby easing the financial burden on both sellers and consumers,” she said.

The FCCPC plans to engage with executives of the markets to ensure there are no restrictions on bringing goods to the market.

“An increase in the availability of goods will naturally lead to lower prices. Additionally, we will address anti-competitive practices by cartels that restrict supply, to ensure a fair and competitive marketplace,” she said.

The FCCPC’s fact-finding mission is a crucial step toward understanding and mitigating the factors that contribute to the rising cost of living for consumers.

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