A group under the aegis of ‘Concerned Nigerians’ has come out to protest against what they described as hate speech emanating from the Managing Director of PepsiCo Nigeria Plc., Ziad Maloofu.
Maloofu is alleged to have undermined a local competitor in the soft drinks industry saying ” the B-brand model of business will either become a temptation for anyone who has a bit money to start own brand in Nigeria, or a curse that ensures no one takes such decision again.”
Concerned Nigerians protest in Lagos
The Pepsi company MD is also quoted to have said, “One company will flourish, one will diminish, another will finish.”
The Concerned Nigerians group said the disdainful comments from Maloofu are unacceptable, and called on every Nigerian to condemn such.
While staging a protest at Seven Up Bottling Company in Ikeja, the Chief Strategist of the non-governmental organization , Olamide Wallington, told journalists that the group was against unfair practices in the sector.
” The essence of this gathering is to stage a peaceful protest against unhealthy competition, and also ask the government to protect local brands against harsh competition in the market.” He said.
Wallington argued that though Nigeria operates a free market, policy makers must put in place guidelines to protect the local brands from unhealthy competition.
In his words, “we want the government to come up with a legislation against unhealthy competition … let there be sanity in players’ choice of words.”
He noted that the locally made soft drinks are of international standard and Nigerians will not fold their arms and watch Foreigners undermined their products.
Efforts to get the Pepsi company’s side of the story from its representative in person of Kalu Nwokoto, was not successful as he declined to comment on the matter.