President/Chief Executive Officer of Erisco Foods Limited, Chief Eric Umeofia has commended the federal government over the recent policy, which placed a ban on the importation of Tomato pastes into the country, which he said has helped in improving local production sales by as much as 20 per cent.
Speaking at a media parley in Lagos on Wednesday (October 4, 2017), Umeofia said if such policies are sustained over the years then the hope of industrialising Nigeria in line with determination to patronise Nigeria made products would be feasible.
According to him, worthy of mention is the ban on all brands of tomato paste in retail packs into Nigeria including the poisonous as well as substandard products. He however called the attention of the federal government to the manipulation and frustrations going on in the economy to the disadvantage of indigenous manufacturers by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and some other MDS’s that needs to be addressed.
According to him the company is finding it difficult to secure more loans to expand its operations and service its loans as the company has lost huge amounts of its capital due largely to anti indigenous policy of the CBN despite the ban on importation of tomato paste in retail packs. He noted that no country develops with the kind of policy of CBN as it has the capacity of destroying all that the government is working in industrialising the country.
The Erisco Foods CEO noted that the progress reported in the economy is a tip of where the country could be as a nation if only the CBN extends 20 per cent of the support the Central Bank of Angola or United Arab Emirates, among others country give to their indigenous manufacturers. He said the present forex allocation mechanism has been too expensive and costly to all genuine indigenous manufacturers, yet the CBN has remained adamant.
He also called on federal government to ban the importation of all sorts of processed food items for better health of the citizenry and economy, which he said would also support the existing indigenous manufacturers with new credit lines at low interest rates.