THE Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has said that Nigeria being the largest producer of cassava in the world have no business importing garri from India.
Speaking with Nigerian Tribune in Abuja, Chief Ogbeh said constant importation of unnecessary food items which can be produced locally will further put pressure on the Naira.
“Whoever buys that kind of product have his or herself to blame, I have not seen, but I have heard of it. Nigerians are little too ready to buy anything imported, we bring in apples, some of it preserved in ethanol, not healthy for our consumption, but as for importation of garri, we produce more cassava than India, why are we importing garri?
“Why will anybody import garri from India, there has never been short supply of garri in the country, this is one of the reasons why there is pressure on the Naira, everybody is looking for dollars on the street to bring in the most ridiculous items, people sit here and by phone order pizza in London and it arrive by British Airways in the morning, what kind of people are we?, he queried.
The agric Minister further said “Something must be wrong for someone to import garri from India, if everyone is so willing to import the most unnecessary things and for which they must demand dollars, there will be pressure on Naira.
He, however, warned against the health implication of buying such products, adding that Nigerians does not know the condition the garri was produced.
“How do you know under what condition the garri was produced, like some of the chicken we bring in now pumped with formaldehyde obviously destroying the liver and the kidney, people bring in so many things like cookies, biscuits, and some of them has expired.
“Some of the tomato pastes coming in have been declared 80 per cent unhealthy for consumption by Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), but Nigerians buy them because it is imported, we have even seized chicken before and buried, people dug out the chicken, cooked and eat”.