The Nigerian military received a well-deserved boost on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, in Abuja when Chief Eric Umeofia, President and CEO of Erisco Foods Limited led his management team to present a trailer-load of a range of Erisco brand of food products which included RIC-GIKO, Nagiko and Erisco brand of tomato pastes, RIC-GIKO seasoning cubes, 3-in-1 garri mix, Rice and food drinks. Also presented was a brand new made-in-Nigeria IVM 4×4 utility vehicle. The Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Abayomi Olonisakin, who was represented by the Chief of Logistics Defense headquarters, Major General Emmanuel Atewe received the products and vehicle with unbridled joy on behalf of the Nigerian military at the Defence Headquarters Warehouse, Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja.
Chief Eric Umeofia noted that Erisco Foods was inspired to make its gesture in recognition of the gallantry, professionalism and sacrifice that officers and men of the Nigerian military were exhibiting in their patriotic drive to bring peace and security into every single part of Nigeria. In particular, Chief Umeofia observed that under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, the military has made significant gains in its war against Boko Haram and insurgency across the North-East, noting that the President and the Nigerian armed forces requires the support and prayers of all patriotic Nigerians to succeed.
Chief Umeofia noted that Nigerians must unite to fight all kinds of insecurity so that a better life can be assured for all. This, he said, includes socio-political security and economic security. Specifically, he said: “Just as the Soldiers are now better equipped and motivated to conquer Boko Haram, Erisco Foods wants to ensure that they eat wholesome and nutritious meals to help them stay strong and fight diseases that may try to slow them down.”
He continued: “We don’t want a situation where our people will continue with foreign imported goods that they are not certain of the quality. Ours is guaranteed and we are sure we want to make good food for our people and feed Nigeria with good food. That is why I am here with these products because if they keep eating quality food, diseases will be subdued. They will be able to conquer Boko Haram and also conquer diseases.”
Major General Emmanuel Atewe, the Chief of Logistics, Defense Headquarters explained that the Chief of Defence Staff had planned to personally receive the products but for certain exigencies of office. He however expressed the Chief of Defence Staff’s profound appreciation of the gesture of Chief Eric Umeofia; noting that in the military what Chief Umeofia had done is called a Morale-Booster. He observed that every single officer and men of the armed forces will be greatly honoured and inspired by what Chief Umeofia and his company had done. He intoned that, “God will honour you and your company for this great gesture and show of appreciation you have given to the Nigerian Military”
General Atewe concluded by saying that Chief Umeofia’s gesture “will have a positive impact on the troops because clearly when you know that you are out there fighting and somebody is out there recognizing that humble and modest effort, it makes you feel motivated. You know the importance of food to our daily lives and of course the vehicle. If you can’t move, you can’t get to the enemy, you can’t do anything. If you don’t eat, you can’t move, so the two items donated are symbolic.” General Atewe was further delighted that all the products, including the utility vehicle were proudly made in Nigeria with high quality standards.
It would be recalled that Chief Eric Umeofia recently donated a trailer-load of products made by Erisco Foods Limited to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the North-East through the Sultan of Sokoto, Sultan Muhammadu Sa’adu Abubakar III, along with a cash donation to enable a number of Muslim faithful perform their religious obligations in this year’s hajj in Mecca. Chief Umeofia is an avid advocate for made-in-Nigeria products and he urges Nigerians “to buy our own products as that is the only way to rebuild our economy, create employment, stop kidnapping as well as stem restiveness and criminality in our polity”.