Less than 72 hours ago, Nigerian customs authorities in Lagos seized over 2.5 metro tos of rice which upon testing were discovered to be ‘fake’. The rice was packed into 102 bags of the 50kg category. According to reports, the rice was first tested by its recipient who reported that the rice refused to soften after thirty minutes of boiling. Reports from the customs chief revealed that the rice looked so much than the real rice but was obviously not ‘rice’ guaging its hardness.
The health ministry has tried to play down the alarm, telling Nigerians to calm down, stating that their tests were yet to prove that the rice was ‘plastic’, fake of contained any harmful chemicals. So far, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control hasn’t said anything about the development yet. But customs is still insisting on the existence of fake rice, suspected to have been imported from China.
Nigeria is facing recession, Nigerians love rice, Rice is very expensive, these three factors are enough for ‘saboteurs’ of the Nigerian economy to capitalize on. Coupled with the imminent festive season and an expected increase in the consumption and price of rice, Nigerians will be looking to get the best bargains on rice for the season celebrations and there are already reports of a brand of rice- “Best Tomato Rice” which is way cheaper than other brands(The same rice was reported to be the fake rice brand).
From reports, the rice must have been imported for distribution months ago, the source is yet unknown but a woman who had a close encounter with the product, said she bought a few cups from a retailer in Ikeja, Lagos. She said the rice refused to soften even after several minutes of boiling and it didn’t soak up water at all. She had to compare the rice with another she got from else where and discovered that the fake was a little more ‘rubbery’ in nature. In her words: “I wouldn’t call it plastic rice, it feels like flour coated with rubber or something”.
We are yet to confirm these reports, but customs investigation has revealed that there were initially 221 bags that were imported, but only 102 were discovered, obviously 119 bags had been distributed already. You can’t imagine what greed can make people do once they discover an opportunity in a failing economy as Nigeria’s, so please be careful as you buy your rice this season, better to buy the proper rice at a higher price than buy the fake one and face regrets. Also warn your relations and loved ones too. Let’s pull through this festive season together! Happy Christmas!
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