Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh has expressed surprise about the Punch report of Monday which showed that garri imported from India was being sold in Nigeria. Ogbe said it was totally strange and ridiculous for anyone to import garri into Nigeria when the country has enough cassava and garri produced locally.

The minister promised to liase with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, to verify the report.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, quoted Ogbeh as saying on Wednesday, “Whoever buys that kind of garri should be blamed. I have heard of it. I will find out by tomorrow if NAFDAC indeed did certify any garri from India; unless it is some Indian companies packaging the garri here.

“Nigerians are too ready to buy anything imported. They will bring in apples and some of them have been preserved with ethanol which is not healthy for our consumption.

“Whoever is importing garri from India, something must be wrong with them. Why import garri when you do not know the conditions through which the garri was produced over there.

“I have no powers to stop imports, but I can recommend to the Nigerian Customs that this is unreasonable. I produce and encourage Nigerians to eat what they produce because it is safer for them.”