——–By Akpos Oghenetega————
Nigerians on Monday expressed ire over the discovery that Indian-packaged Garri was being sold in the country, at a supermarket located at Ikoyi, Lagos.
The garri is packed in a 500g bag, according to media report has the picture of a lady and an inscription, ‘TRS’ (Asia’s Finest Foods) on it, with a price tag of N450.
The Executive Director, Natural Nutrient Limited, Sola Adeniyi, expressed dismay at the development in a post entitled, “Attention: Indian garri being sold in Nigerian supermarkets,” which he shared on WhatsApp.
According to Adeniyi, who is an agribusiness development value chain expert, the sale of the Indian-packaged garri in Nigeria is an absurdity of monumental proportion and a shame.
He said, “Our government and regulatory agencies (if they still exist) should cover their faces in shame. I would like to ask: how much were you paid in bribe? Is this how far we are mentally bankrupt? We are indeed in a big mess in this nation. Can you imagine imported garri from India now selling in shops in Nigeria and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control approved this?
“So, we finally have consigned our dear country to a dumping ground for all forms of Asian mindless madness. Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava for crying out loud, but here we are shamelessly displaying Indian-made garri and not corn flakes on our shelves.
Nigerians also took to the social media space to condemn the act, one of them writing on Nairaland with the user name, smartiyke78, said, “I am ashamed of this country called Nigeria.
“The other day, it was imported packaged jollof rice from India or China. As if that embarrassment was not enough, now this is garri. What a shame to all who call themselves leaders and decision makers. Could this be the result of the incessant unprofitable travels the President was making?
“I just hope Nigeria has not been sold out in the name of some clueless economic partnership.”
Another user, Dauda Abu, wrote, “Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava. How on earth should we be importing garri into our market? We are not encouraging our industry to grow at all.”
Following the outrage, NAFDAC raided the shop located along Cameron Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
According to the Acting Director-General of NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, the agency’s officers visited the supermarket on Monday and seized 26 packs of the product for analysis.
“The product has no NAFDAC number. It is said to be from Ghana but packaged in the United Kingdom. The management of the supermarket has been invited for further discussion in our Lagos office and investigation continues,” she said in a text message in response to an enquiry by our correspondent.