Inflation: Reps Ask FG to Control Prices of Food Items, Others

October 13, 2023
reps price control board

By Bliss Okperan

The House of Representatives has charged the federal government to establish a price control board to regulate the prices of food items, petroleum products and others in the country.

The lower arm of the National Assembly advised the central government to take this action to tackle the rising inflation and cost of living in the country.

Moving a motion on Thursday, Mr Hussaini Mohammed Jalo argued that the skyrocketing inflation and cost of living in the country was affecting citizens, who they represent at the lower chamber of the parliament.

He blamed high cost of petroleum products and the increasing exchange rate differentials for the price instability in Nigeria, urging the government to quickly do something to bring down prices of items.

The lawmaker said the government, through the Minister of Commerce, should introduce zero duty on agricultural products for a period of five years to encourage agricultural growth and reduce the burden on farmers, increase food production.

Mr Jalo further noted the existence of a Price Control Act is to ensure that goods are sold at government approved prices to stabilize the general price level, prevention of hoarding of goods, protection of customers from exorbitant prices.

He stressed that the price control board, when inaugurated, would be saddled with the responsibility to oversee the price of petroleum products and ensure that marketers don’t take undue advantage of consumers, depending on the prevailing price on the international market.

According to him, the absence of price control mechanism in the country was giving room for exploitation by sellers, reducing the purchasing power of the consumers.

“The absence of a price control board will give room to manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of agricultural products to inflate the costs of production, thus disrupting the economic equilibrium of the nation,” he noted.

“Lack of proper regulation on prices of commodities has resulted in unpredictable rise in the costs of petroleum products especially Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) and kerosene, the volatility in pricing affects the transportation sector which in turn influences the cost of living for the ordinary citizens,” the lawmaker submitted.

His colleagues in the House agreed with his submission and the motion, which was seconded by Mr Kabiru Yusuf Alhaji. It was then adopted and referred to the House of Committee on Commerce.

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