(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria’s antitrust body said it will take steps to curb prices that continue to rise despite the recent strengthening of the naira.

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission said it’s concerned businesses in the West African nation might be taking advantage of market conditions to unfairly inflate the cost of goods, and that while it can’t directly regulate prices, various measures will be implemented to address the issue.

“Despite the recent appreciation of the naira, consumers continue to face escalating costs without a corresponding decrease in prices,” the commission said in a statement on Wednesday. “This is unacceptable and the FCCPC is committed to protecting consumers from exploitation.”

The warning came two days after official data showed the annual inflation rate climbed to 33.2% in March, a 28-year high. The data has yet to capture the recent strengthening of the national currency: after losing 43% of its value against the dollar in the first two-and-a-half months of this year, the naira has strengthened about 40% since mid-March — the most in the world among global currencies tracked by Bloomberg. 

The FCCPC will implement measures including monitoring and investigating unusual price increases, addressing complaints filed by consumers, and taking action against any businesses found to be engaging in anti-competitive practices such as price-fixing, price gouging or cartel formation.

“The commission has directed its operatives to intensify monitoring of both formal and informal markets, where businesses may be taking advantage of market conditions to unfairly inflate prices, and ramp up enforcement activities,” it said.

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