Mrs Buhari urges Nigerians to patronise made-in Nigeria goods

By Kemi Mobuse - Friday, February 26, 2016

The Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has urged Nigerians to patronize made in Nigeria goods with a view to creating employment and strengthening the country’s economy.

 Mrs Buhari made the call when she inaugurated the Made in Nigeria Tomoto Paste Factory, Erisco Foods Limited, on Thursday in Lagos. 

She said that; "the need to patronise Nigerian goods had become necessary as it would encourage the production of local farm products and improve the health of citizens."

 She also urged manufacturing companies in the country to emulate Erisco company by using locally available raw materials to produce their goods to ensure economic development. 

She added that “I think we have imported enough and we have to change that culture of importing things  we can produce locally,” Mrs. Buhari said in her address. I believe this is part of the change process which the present administration is all about. “The event we are witnessing today is not only unique but also important because this company is able to produce 450,000 tonnes of tomato paste using local tomatoes.’’ 

She then commended the company for donating food items to Internally Displace Persons (IDPs) in the North East and also for providing employment to youths.

Also speaking at the event, President/CEO of Erisco Foods, Chief Eric Umeofia, said the new plant was an expansion and improvement on the existing one using the latest technology that allows fresh tomatoes sourced within Nigeria from local farmers   to be processed into tomato paste. He said the idea of the new plant was borne out of the need to resolve the glut in the tomato products from farmers, particularly in the northern part of the country, who losing about 75 per cent of their produce due to the absence of storage or processing facilities.

Said Umeofia: “I visited northern Nigeria frequently in the recent past and I saw how more than 75 per cent of tomatoes harvested yearly are being wasted. Sadly, however, Nigeria spends about $1 billion importing tomato paste from abroad. All that will end with the inauguration of this project. Our new technology in this facility puts an end to all the waste Nigerian farmers  are suffering over the years because it is a backward integration project investment we have made for Nigeria.
“We can now take 10 trucks of fresh tomatoes daily and process the fresh tomatoes to tomato paste and this factory is the first of its kind in Africa,”  he added.

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