In a statement on Saturday in Enugu, the Country Director of the NGO, Mrs Amaka Nweke, said it was sad that some traders had taken undue advantage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nweke appealed to state governments to protect the masses from extortion by unpatriotic traders.
She said that the most heart-rending was increase in prices of materials used by citizens to protect themselves against the spread of the virus.
“Prices of goods such as face masks, hand sanitisers and hand gloves have tripled since the virus index case was first reported in Nigeria.
“While this inhuman act continues to go unchecked, prices of food stuff and other consumables have also skyrocketed in the market.
“As the number of coronavirus cases continues to spiral in the country, the disadvantaged are being exploited in the face of lockdown, and this might lead to hunger,” she said.
According to her, medium and large -sized hand sanitisers that hitherto sold for N500 and N1000, respectively, now go for N2000 and N5000, respectively.
“Face masks that used to be N2,500 for a pack of 50 pieces is now N15, 000 while a sack of cassava flakes (garri) that hitherto cost between N300 and N500 now goes for N1000,” she added.
She noted that the price of rice also increased.
Nweke said that fear and hunger could lead many to death if palliative measures were not put in place.
“It is wickedness for some traders to use every opportunity to the detriment of thousands of Iives.
“In Enugu, for instance, the prices of hand gloves, masks and hand sanitisers have tripled just as the prices of staple foods.
“Therefore, we appeal to the regulatory bodies to check this trend in this difficult time,” Nweke said.