Priest, community leader condemn hike in product prices, services

A Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr.  Gabriel Fatoye, has criticised some retailers and service providers for deliberating increasing prices of products and services during the Christmas season.

Fatoye, an Associate Parish Priest of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Odogunyan, Ikorodu said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.

The priest said that such acts of extortion were against the spirit of the season, which is generosity.

“Retailers who deliberately hike the prices of products and service providers who use the Christmas season to extort people are getting involved in profiteering.

“Biblically, the birth of Christ symbolises hope for God’s people; Christmas is therefore a time to remember the needy and not to seek double profit, at the expense of the common man.

“Any businessman that believes that Christmas is a time to take more than required from customers should be described as wicked and an anti-Christ entrepreneur.

“Christmas is a time of giving and those who want to be seen abiding by the spirit of the season should give out more than they aspire to get back,’’ he said.

Similarly, a Community Leader, Alhaji Saheed Yusuf, also criticised traders that unduly doubled their profits, saying that, “ they were worsening the hardship of Nigerians’’.

Yusuf, the Chairman of Igba-Otun Community Development Area in Ikorodu, said  that the hike in prices during the season had become a norm in the country, adding that such tendency had also worsened the nation’s inflationary trend.

“You hear in the news of companies in Europe and the U.S. giving away gifts to their customers and sometimes reducing the prices of their products to attract more patronage.

“But here, what we see is an almost general increase in prices and even the so-called bonanzas are really not so in the actual sense of the word.

“Our businessmen require a radical reorientation on sales during this time, with a view to projecting a customer-friendly relationship and also finding a way to appreciate them for their patronage,’’ he added.