Nigerians have been outraged following the discovery of an Indian-packaged garri that has flooded the market.
The garri which is packed in a 500g bag, with the picture of a lady and an inscription, ‘TRS’ (Asia’s Finest Foods) on it, is not sitting well with the people, especially with the price at N450.
Punch reports that the Executive Director, Natural Nutrient Limited (NNL), Sola Adeniyi, has also expressed his dismay at the development in a post entitled, 'Attention: Indian garri being sold in Nigerian supermarkets,' which he shared on his WhatsApp.
Adeniyi who is an agribusiness development value chain expert said the sale of the Indian-packaged garri in Nigeria is an absurdity of monumental proportion and a shame.
“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 a 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."
Apart from Adeniyi, other Nigerians who are not happy with the development believe the government agencies with the responsibility for regulating imported food items have been compromised to allow such items into a country where cassava cultivation should be encouraged.
One aggrieved Nigerian who wrote on social media with the username, 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.”
Reacting on the imported garri, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), raided one of the shops where the Indian-Garri was found along Cameron Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, and it was discovered that the item has no NAFDAC registration number.
The Acting Director-General of NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni said the agency’s officers visited the supermarket on Monday, February 20, 2017, 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,” Oni said.
But the explanation has not assuaged the anger on Nigerians over the imported Indian-packaged garri as many see it as a failure on the part of the government and its agencies.