One of the many manifestations of the blurred lines of divide between poor and rich that characterised the 1990s in Nigeria, many will recall, is Okin biscuit. It was delicious as it was affordable and sadly, it is now one of those things we consider to be part of the past.
We doubt anyone has had Okin biscuit in recent times. Citing the horrible economic downturn as well as non-patronising Nigerians who have settled on imported substitutes as reasons, the company reportedly folded up years ago.
Worst yet, the company now appears to be making moves to put a permanent end to the existence of the biscuits even though it doesn’t look like they happily made that decision.
This is because reports show that a recent listing from property website, Nigeria Property Centre shows an offer for a sale of a biscuit factory located in Kwara State. The listing shows that the factory is listed for an asking price of $20 million dollars.
If you remember, Senator Bukola had in 2012 tweeted about the location of the Okin Biscuits factory.
#factsAboutKwara Okin biscuit that is very popular all around Nigeria is produced in Kwara State by Okin Biscuits Nig. Ltd
— Bukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki) February 9, 2012
According to the site, Nigeria Property Centre, the Biscuit factory at Kwara State sits on 29 acres of land with valid documents. They also claim “all industrial oven, machines and equipment are still in working condition. They even listed popular cabin, short cake biscuit and other biscuit franchise brand as part of the sale package.
According to the listing and in tandem with the reports that the Okin factory had seized production for years now, listing continues that the plant “stopped production” but is still in good condition.
“Expatriate master baker still available to test run facility in presence of buyer and bake sample biscuit brands during inspection, price $20m asking.”
The Okin biscuit factory address is the same as the location where the factory is listed according to the property site. Besides stopping production, Okin biscuits has met with more mishaps along the way. In 2002, armed robbers invaded Kwara State factory, locked up the guards, ransacked the premises, and took off with NGN 3 million as well as valuable property.
This is sadly not a novel story. Many other Nigerian businesses that once thrived have gone down the same route and it’s beyond shameful. Just last year, three food franchises were shut down on Isaac John, Ikeja, Lagos. Another one has gone the same route this year, selling out to a bakery in Surulere.
Considering the Senate President’s recent move to encourage Nigerian businesses and innovation, it may not be a bad time to take him up on his seriousness with the #MadeInNigeria campaign.
— Bukola Saraki (@bukolasaraki) February 12, 2016