Umeofia also called on the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to ensure the standard of food is up to standard.
Umeofia also called on the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to ensure the standard of food is up to standard, adding that the agency should educate importers on what is required.
The Ric-Giko tomato paste mastermind also said most of the tomato paste in the country is adulterated.
He said “We are being faced with a lot of problems which are killing genuine industries in Nigeria. Some Nigerian businessmen request low quality tomato pastes produced with drum, starch and colour, which has been banned internationally due to health implications. Importing such tomatoes from Europe, America or Britain won’t be allowed, but in China it is allowed. N25 billion is taken away from Nigeria every day, with Illegal business killing the country the more.
“What the country should do is to curtail the consumption of what we don’t need. Nigerians are fond of foreign tastes. Must we continue to import what we don’t need? We should be contented with the little we have. If indigenous manufacturers like me and others are not supported, I don’t think this country will move forward. When I entered into this business, foreigners said it is not possible; today I produce canned tomato paste.”
Umeofia, who urged the Federal Government to intensify its drive to diversify the economy, also said foxus should also be on agriculture.
He also said most of the foreign investors do not have the interest of Nigeria at heart, saying “They don’t have the interest of the country at heart. Every time we hear about foreign investors in Nigeria; where are they investing their money? Treasury bills, bonds and stock market, where they can make huge returns and move out of the country, recoup more than what they invested and run away.
“What happened to the development of our transportation system, airports and infrastructure? They are not investing in all these areas,” he pointed out, even as he urged citizens to continue patronising made-in-Nigeria goods.
“We will continue to fight economic sabotage in Nigeria because President Buhari is not doing this to enrich himself; he is already comfortable as a retired army general. He has good intentions for the country. All that he is doing is to make Nigeria move again. We believe in our country. I dry tomatoes and turn them into paste; it has not happened in any country in the whole world.”
Erisco Foods recently commissioned a new factory for the production of Tomato paste in Lagos state.
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