Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Here is why the dangote tomato paste factory might not reopen in February.
Here is why the dangote tomato paste factory might not reopen in February.Earlier this month, the Managing Director of the Dangote Tomato Processing Factory, Abdulkadir Kaita, had disclosed that the company is set to begin the production of tomato pastes in February. However, with the economic condition in the country, it is unlikely that the factory will open in February. Executive Director, Dangote Group, Edwin Devakumar explained that the plant is unlikely to open due to the shortage of dollars to import raw materials. Though, he highlighted that the factory would open when if it is able to obtain an adequate supply of raw tomatoes locally. Last year, the Union of Tomato Paste Manufacturers in Nigeria through its spokesman, Mr. Nnamdi Nnodebe, hinted that the once vibrant tomato industry might stop existing in 2017 if the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) did not amend its policy on Forex to exclude triple concentrate tomato paste from the scope of the 41 items on the restricted list. The triple concentrate tomato paste is used as raw material by manufacturers for further processing into tomato paste, ketchup, and sauces. Dangote’s influence in the country has enabled him to gain a reasonable level of preference by Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Between March to May 2016, Dangote’s companies bought at least $161 million in hard currency from CBN, estimated to be 9 percent of the total hard currency sold during that period. In a single week in March 2016, one in every eight dollars sold by the CBN went to Dangote group. continue