Nigeria’s Lagos State Safety Commission has shut down the multi-billion multi-national shopping outlet, Shoprite located at the Ikeja Shopping Mall, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria for breaching safety law.
Officials of the commission were said to have stormed Shoprite on Friday afternoon and driven everyone out, before sealing off the massive premises. They also left a seal order at the entrance.
The seal order read: “Sealed, this premises had been sealed following the breach of safety law. This seal must not be broken. For further enquiries, contact the Commission.”
Many customers who did not know that the favorite supermarket had been shut were taken aback. It was not clear whether Shoprite other outlets in Lekki and Surulere in Lagos were also affected.
Effort to get the Director General of the commission to speak on the matter proved abortive as he was not on seat to attend to us. However, a source in the commission confided in our reporter that the place was shut for failing to live up to the safety laws of the state.
The source said there had been complaints by members of the public about adulterated and expiry products being sold in the outlet, adding that investigation was also carried out before the place was shut.
A customer, who craved anonymity, said she once bought expired milk at Shoprite, saying that the closure of the outlet was long overdue.
Officials of Shoprite have been asked to report at the commission’s office on Monday while the outlet remained shut throughout the weekend, with over N100,000, 000 expected to be lost in terms of sale.
A customer, who simply called herself Nike said she was disappointed that the place was shut down as she wanted to purchase certain items for the weekend, while others also expressed disappointment that Shoprite could breach safety standard.
Shoprite, which is listed on Namibia Stock Exchange and Zambian Stock Exchange is a South African-based retail and fast food company. It operates over 1,200 corporate and 270 franchise outlets in 16 countries across Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.
The Shoprite Group of companies started from South Africa small town beginnings in 1979 with the purchase of a chain of 8 supermarkets in Cape Town for 1 million Rand. The next 30 years were marked by various acquisitions and innovative expansion strategies that brought it to the R72 billion business that Shoprite is today.