The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has told both private and government owned learning institutions to stop barring students from buying necessities such as uniforms and learning materials from other institutions.
This is according to CFTC’s press statement signed by Acting Executive Director Apoche Itimu which says there are growing reports of schools tying the provision of tuition fees to the supply of uniforms, groceries and books.
Itimu says the Commission received so many complaints from parents and learners themselves alleging that they are not allowed to buy some necessities from other sources even if when the necessities are only available outside the school.
“The Commission has previously received complaints alleging that some schools tend to force students to buy uniforms from the same school, and they do not allow them to buy from alternative sources even when uniform material is readily available on the market.
“Similar to this complaint, some schools have gone to the extent of restricting students from buying groceries from any other outlet except from the school tuck-shop,” said CFTC in a press statement.
The statement further says the tendency should not be tolerated anymore claiming it contravenes section 48:09 of the Competition and Fair Trade Act which promotes competition and consumer protection in the education sector.
The Commission has since directed that all learning institutions should with immediate effect stop barring students from buying uniforms, books, groceries and any other materials from alternative sources.
“Regarding these practices, the Commission wishes to advise that section 32(2)(d) of the competition and fair trading act prohibit traders from ‘making the supply of particular goods or services dependent upon the purchase of other goods or services from the supplier to the consignee,” reads another part of the statement.
Meanwhile, the Commission has since threatened unspecified action for all learning institutions that will continue tying or doing any other anticompetitive and/or unfair trading practice.
The public has also been advised to report to the commission or any other relevant office should they find any education institution engaging in these prohibited practices.