About 1,500 Nigerians are set to lose their jobs as Erisco Foods Limited announces plans to shut down its $150 million plant in Nigeria and relocate to China.
The company cited, among other reasons, lack of foreign exchange supply, high cost of running its factory in Nigeria and the influx of imported tomato pastes, which allegedly led a loss of over N3 billion for the company in the last one year.
Part of the implication that the local tomato manufacturer is shutting down is that over 1, 500 of its staff, mostly Nigerians, would be retrenched in the process.
Chief Eric Umeofia, Chief Executive Officer, Erisco Foods Limited, made the company’s position known in a statement on Tuesday.
Umeofia accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of withholding foreign exchange from local manufacturers, while approving same for importers of tomato paste.
“No bank can pay you forex unless the CBN has approved the Form ‘M’, which is a form permitting you to import,” Umeofia said.
THE WHISTLER recalls that the exit of Erisco Foods only adds to the list of tomato paste manufacturers that have closed shop in Nigeria due to the unfavourable economic policies of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
Just last month, Alhaji Sani Dangote, Group Vice President, Dangote Industries Limited, disclosed that the company had stopped the production of tomato paste, citing similar conditions.