Overtime, I have spent quality time investigating how corporate organisations especially those that deal with FMCGs have been stealing from Nigerians just to stay afloat.
Over 90% of product manufacturers in the Nigerian market have criminally reduced both the quality and quantity of their products even as their prices have gone through the roof.
They under quote the grammage of their products such that the quantities you get today is about half of what they were say three years ago. Most tinned and packaged products hardly cross the halfway mark of their containers, yet their prices have tripled in the last two years.
I took this Nescafe instant Coffee from an event I attended over the holidays. I pressed it to know the space occupied by the content and what was filled with air. It was such a sobering experience as I discovered it is about 40% filled, yet the taste has been watered down considerably.
I counted the granules (trust me) and was shocked to find that when poured into a tea spoon, it just kissed the brim. What audacious criminality.
This is same story for most of other products from Nestlé, Cadbury, WAMPCO, Promasidor, and many other big players in household FMCGs.
This is where I expected the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) and the moribund Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to pay closer attention to and investigate further. They shouldn’t wait until someone brings a complaint because consumer protection is their core duty.
Nigerians are being robbed by their government and politicians, being robbed by inflation, being robbed by law enforcement agencies, being robbed by bandits, being robbed by terrorists, and all these groups are now competing ferociously with the real armed robbers to outrob one another.
It is one thing to live in a country with an inflation that in actual fact, is above 20%, on a currency that has been serially devalued to rock bottom, be paid wages that have remained as constant as the northern star, but to spend such ‘valueless’ money on products and services that have been seriously devalued, is the euphemism for living in hell.