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Economy

Erisco Foods Review: MAN Wants Protection for Manufacturers, Consumers

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called for a balanced regulatory environment that would protect manufacturers from defamation and social media trials and safeguard the interests of the general public.

The group is making this call following the recent experience involving Erisco Foods and a dissatisfied customer, who made a review of one of the company’s products on Facebook, Mrs Chioma Egodi, who has now gained international attention.

In a statement on Monday titled Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Advocates for (sic) Balanced Regulatory Environment, the group urged regulators and the buying public to “engender an atmosphere that promotes objectivity and fairness, whilst safeguarding the interest of the consumer and protecting the business and integrity of the manufacturer.”

In the statement issued by its Director General, Mr Segun Ajayi-KadirHe, MAN also emphasised “the need for intentional steps to protect manufacturers from the adverse effects of social media trial and defamation and ensuring fairness for all stakeholders,” adding that “manufacturers should be protected from the adverse effects of unverified negative claims about locally manufactured products.”

It argued that the wrong use of social media could significantly affect manufacturing businesses and even threaten their existence, emphasising that there is the need for measures that would recognise challenges faced by manufacturers in Nigeria and at the same time encourage consumers’ patronage and empathy.

The association acknowledged and encouraged consumers’ right to voice legitimate complaints through appropriate channels, but underscored the significance of holding consumers accountable for spreading false information about local products and attempting to vilify local manufacturers in the public opinion place.

The group pointed out that a recent experience between Erisco Foods and its dissatisfied customers highlighted the need for equal protection of manufacturers’ and consumers’ rights.

On September 17, 2023, Mrs Chioma Egodi shared a Facebook post stating that she purchased Nagiko Tomato Mix from Erisco Foods the day before and found it overly sweet. She mentioned that she normally buys Gino or Sonia brands, but they were out of stock.  

After her post sparked significant reactions, the company’s management contacted the police, petitioning the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Kayode Egbetokun, which resulted in her arrest.  

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