The Federal High Court in Lagos has issued a directive to the Federal Government, mandating them to set prices for various essential goods and petroleum products within a week.
The decision came following an originating motion presented and argued by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, before Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa. Falana brought the motion against the Price Control Board and the Attorney General of the Federation.
The motion sought clarification on whether the Price Control Board was fulfilling its duty as outlined in Section 4(1) of the Price Control Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. This section pertains to the imposition of prices on specified goods listed in the First Schedule to the Price Control Act.
In an affidavit supporting the motion, deposed by legal practitioner Taiwo Olawanle from Falana’s firm, it was highlighted that various commodities including bicycles and their spare parts, flour, matches, milk, motorcycles and spare parts, motor vehicles and spare parts, salt, sugar, and petroleum products like diesel, petrol motor spirit, and kerosene are listed in the Price Control Act.
The affidavit noted the absence of enforcement regarding the fixed prices of petroleum products despite being listed under the Act. It also noted the rise in prices of goods such as rice, which has surged from ₦8,000 to ₦45,000 per bag in the market.
Furthermore, it highlighted the adverse effects on consumers, particularly regarding food prices, leading to increases in the cost of meals at eateries and canteens due to unstable prices of farm produce.
In response to the motion, Justice Lewis-Allagoa expressed concerns over the lack of opposition from the defendants, indicating that the facts presented in the affidavit were deemed admitted.