The management of Erisco Foods has announced that it will collaborate with some Asian firms to build a tomato factory to be used as a base for exportation of tomato paste to all African countries.
The Chief Executive Officer, Erisco Foods, Chief Eric Umeofia, stated this in Lagos on Wednesday at a press briefing.
He attributed the feat to the ban on tomato paste by the Federal Government, adding that the ban had achieved two things: it caused his sales to increase by 20 per cent; and made some Asian firms hitherto importing the product into Nigeria to come together to build a tomato mega factory in Katsina State so that they could export from there to the whole of Africa.
The Erisco CEO however lamented that local manufacturers were still facing a lot of frustration in the country due to poor implementation of government’s policies meant to grow the manufacturing sector.
He alleged that all the efforts of the government to improve the lot of local manufacturers were still being frustrated by the Central Bank of Nigeria, government’s Ministries, Agencies and Departments.
According to him, the apex bank gave huge amounts of foreign exchange to importers of fish heads, frozen fish, corn, tomato paste in retail packs and others.
Although the Acting Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, denied the claims when our correspondent contacted him, saying that the apex bank was not responsible for issuing forex, Umeofia insisted that the bank still allocated huge amount of forex to importers of 41 items restricted from getting forex at official rate.