With prices spiraling out of control and the masses left to rue the harsh economic situation we found ourselves in and are currently “recovering” from, it is imperative that we make a case for the revival of the price control act of 1977.
The Price Control Act 1977 was set up with the sole aim of regulating prices of certain products in Nigeria. These products are:
- Bicycles and spare parts
- Motorcycles and spare parts
- Motor Vehicles and spare parts
- Petroleum products
Several years after, we have seen inflation rise to almost 20%, with prices of the aforementioned products and goods going up by almost 200%. While inflation is gradually coming down, we are faced with a harsh reality. Prices of goods and services have escalated and are not showing any signs of reducing.
A call for the revival of this act, albeit termed draconian is not uncalled for. Every business in Nigeria are out to make profit and careless about the plight of the consumer. Essential products are now almost out of reach of the masses with sanitary pad costing a princely sum.
It is ironic that this act was implemented under the present President when he was the military head of state. Seeing the plight of the masses, I am of the opinion his government should have looked towards reviving this act. Working together with lawmakers and industry leaders, the Price control Act would have been modified to conform to present reality.
The truth now is we are at the mercy of sellers and manufacturers who always give us the excuse of inflation and “dollar don high” to skim us of our hard earned cash. Should we have to pay over the board for items which are essential to our very existence?
Mr President Sir, it is imperative that businesses seeking to exploit the citizens are reined in before they cause irrevocable damages. Businesses with genuine reasons for the price they have set should be given a price ceiling and price floor target and monitored to ensure full compliance.