By Abdallah el-Kurebe
The President and Chief Executive of Erisco Foods Limited, Chief Eric Umeofia has called on the Federal Government to ban the importation of tomato paste into the country in order to encourage domestic manufacturing companies to invest in agriculture.
He stated during the commissioning of a tomato processing plant, the first in Africa and fourth in the world, that domestic processing of tomato paste would ensure the consumption of fresher and healthier tomato by Nigerians.
According to Umeofia, Erisco Foods revolution in tomato paste would stop the 75per cent annual waste in fresh tomatoes across the country, adding that “Erisco would employ over 9000 Nigerians if substandard tomato paste was not allowed to be dumped in Nigeria.”
He stressed the need for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to encourage commercial banks to support the practical diversification of the economy through the introduction of low interest rates.