Hardship: A look at 7 laws that allow FG, state to regulate price of commodities

 Hardship: A look at 7 laws that allow FG, state to regulate price of commodities

Human rights advocate Femi Falana, SAN, has outlined the legal obligations on Nigerian federal and state governments to regulate prices of fuel and goods amidst soaring living expenses. 

Criticizing the economic policies of President Bola Tinubu’s administration, Falana emphasized the need for government intervention in fixing prices of essential commodities, citing examples of price regulations in capitalist nations. 

Despite Nigeria’s purported free market, laws mandate price regulation across various sectors. Falana urged action to prevent price manipulation and stabilize currency exchange rates, endorsing Tinubu’s proposal to establish a Commodity Board for food price regulation. 

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He praised recent efforts by regulatory bodies and state governments to curb price manipulation and standardize cement prices, urging citizens to advocate for increased domestic production and reduced import tariffs to ease the impact of rising living costs driven by international financial institutions’ neoliberal policies.

The 7 Laws

Federal High Court Judgment

The court’s judgment directs the Federal Government to control the prices of essential commodities, enforcing a legal obligation to regulate prices for the welfare of citizens.

Wages Review Panel

The establishment of a Wages Review Panel by the Federal Government mandates the regulation of minimum wages across public and private sectors, ensuring f air compensation for workers.

Import Duties Regulation

The government fixes duties on imp orted goods and exempts certain essential products from these duties, allowing for indirect price control through trade policies.

Central Bank’s Exchange Rate Mandate

The Central Bank of Nigeria is legally mandated to fix the exchange rate of the Naira, ensuring stability in currency value and regulating economic transactions.

Professional Fees Control

Legal practitioners’ fees and services are regulated by law, ensuring accessibility and fairness in legal representation, thus indirectly affecting the cost of legal services.

Commodity Board Establishment

The plan to set up a Commodity Board by the Bola Tinubu administration aims to assess and regulate food prices, ensuring food security and stabilizing prices of essential grains and food items.

FCCPC Act Enforcement

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has the authority to seal off businesses engaging in deceptive pricing practices, demonstrating the government’s commitment to protecting consumers from price manipulation.

These laws and regulations collectively empower the government to intervene in the economy and regulate prices to mitigate the impact of rising costs of living and ensure the welfare of citizens.

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