Nigeria tomato paste manufacturers feeling the squeeze

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About 1,500 employees of a Lagos-based tomato paste manufacturer, Erisco Foods Limited, could lose their jobs after the firm decided to suspend operations at its $150m (£117m) facility in Lagos, the local Punch newspaper reports.

It quotes chief executive Eric Umeofia as saying that the shutdown is due to difficulties in dealing with imports.

“We cannot continue this business because we are running at a loss while importers continue to flood our markets with banned tomato paste and prevent our products from selling,” he said.

The country’s ThisDay Live news website adds the firm “has also given the federal government a 30-day ultimatum to support indigenous manufacturers or else it would relocate its business outside Nigeria”.

Bowls of tomatoes
Tomatoes are big business in Nigeria, but the industry has struggled to compete with imports

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