Chief Executive Officer, Erisco Foods, Eric Umeofia, has lamented the lose of credit line of $15 million from customers, following a trending post by one Chioma Egodi over a negative review of one of the company’s products, Nagiko Tomato Mix via her Facebook handle.
Umeofia also threatened that failure to retract her comment by posting the letter publicly, as agreed, would attract the N5 billion lawsuit.
Egodi had on September 17 posted via her Facebook handle that she purchased a tin of Nagiko Tomato paste and discovered that the product contained “too much’’ sugar.
Replying to a comment on Facebook, she insinuated that the product was killing consumers due to its amount of sugar content.
Following the post, Erisco Foods released a statement describing her allegations as untrue and she was subsequently arrested, a move condemned by Nigerians, who described it as intimidation.
Erisco Foods is an indigenous company manufacturing tomato paste, seasoning, rice and other items.
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) had also waded into the case and summoned Erisco following the arrest.
Describing that her comments had been malicious, Umeofia said that sugar was declared as one of the ingredients of the tomato mix, which he said was different from tomato paste.
The CEO noted that due to this issue which he said adversely affected his business, he has lost major deals in his business. “I have credit line of 15 million dollars from two customers and now it is suspended.”

He also said though Egodi tendered an apology letter to his organization, she had yet to make it public as directed by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF).
Umeofia stated that failure to retract her comment by posting the letter publicly, as agreed, would attract the N5 billion lawsuit.
“It is tomato mix, not tomato paste. So with this product, you can add water and use it as a spread on bread like butter. On customer demand, we did this, and we have NAFDAC for it. It is thick; you can put water and use it like jam. If you don’t put water, you can use it to cook,” he said.
“If it is a product review, as you people assumed, she would have posted it and allowed people to review. But where she said that our product is killing people, was a ridiculous statement, we now began to suspect that something was wrong. What is this nonsense? We will not allow our efforts of 40 years to be destroyed now by a syndicate of importers that have been fighting our products since the beginning.”
He decried the harsh business condition, which he said could force him to move his business out of the country.
“I have over 3000 people in my factory. We have over N20,000 people we are paying; how can I allow this kind of syndicate to come and destroy me? Is she more than arrest? If I commit an offence, the government should arrest me.
“Mind you, I am here to produce not because of the money. I am losing money in Nigeria; the money I brought to this country 12 years ago, I don’t have it in dollars again. After this, I may consider leaving this country because I’m losing money,” he said.


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