Coronavirus: Face masks, For Profit or Not ?

With the sudden rage of the Covid-19 pandemic, which appears to be a respiratory infection, health institutions have advised individuals to wear nose masks to prevent fluid discharge.
The Use of Local nose masks

Having this in mind, the increase in the demand for these have forced an artificial scarcity of these products, created a business sector and caused an intentionally induced inflation. It's not surprising to find Gucci face masks, Prada face masks and even Versace face masks. It looks thus that many have lost the focus of the reason for this demand.
Ankara Nose-masks

We still have good ones, who somewhat have a non-profit mindset.

Alice and Olivia agreed to a mask-for-mask donation with their #MASKTOGETHER initiative. For each mask sold through A+O, they will donate one mask to the medical community. For every face mask purchase, Inkkas will donate one mask to Model Citizen Fund. Model Citizen Fund is a platform that uses donations to fill backpacks with essential emergency items, then gives them to homeless individuals and disaster victims in need.

Aviator Jeans has begun manufacturing premium protective masks masks for consumer use and allocating the profit to support the manufacturing of face masks for the medical community and other essential workers. The Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) railed against undue exploitation of consumers by retailers of the safety products.

“It has come to the attention of the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) that certain suppliers and retailers are taking undue advantage of citizens and engaging in unconscionable trade practices with respect to basic safety and protective apparel such as face masks and latex gloves, as well as personal hygiene products like sanitisers and anti-bacterial wipes, because these products are relevant and necessary in preventing infection or spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus),” a statement signed by Babatunde Irukera, FCCPC chair, said.

“This unusual and inordinate practice of unreasonably increasing the price of these products in an indiscriminate manner, on account of the national public health concern (Coronavirus) violates both moral codes and extant law.


“Abusing citizens’ sensitivity, apprehension, anxiety and vulnerability, especially during emergencies that could adversely affect national security is a violation of law.”

The FCCPC noted specifically that Section 17(s) of the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Act (FCCPA) prohibits “obnoxious trade practices”, or the “unscrupulous exploitation of consumers”.

The Commission said its surveillance efforts have revealed that some otherwise reputable pharmacies and department stores are engaging in price gouging and manipulating supplies in a manner that distorts the market, or temporarily restricts availability in order to unreasonably/unfairly increase prices.

“Any conspiracy, combination, agreement or arrangement to unduly limit or manipulate supply, in order to unreasonably enhance price or otherwise restrain competition is a criminal offence under S.108(1)(b) and (c), FCCPA,” the commission said.

“Any exercise or exploitation of undue pressure in selling or the sale of goods or services, or price manipulation between displayed, and selling price are also serious violations of the FCCPA under Sections 115(3) and 124(1). Taking advantage of the possibility of infection by a dangerous communicable disease to control supply, or unilaterally increase prices is predatory as it preys on the desperation of citizens.

“Considering the circumstances and the vital national interest/security this illegal conduct undermines, the Commission intends to strongly enforce the full letter of the law, including the fullest extent of penalties associated with this conduct.”

 

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