- Farmers Flood Mile 12 Market With Tomatoes
There are strong indications that farmers may have successfully contained the menace of Tuta Absoluta, the pest which ravaged tomato farms across the country in 2015 and 2016.
The indication emerged after lorry loads of tomatoes have been arriving at the Mile 12 market in Lagos, a major tomato market, on a daily basis.
A visit to the Mile 12 Market on Friday showed that over 30 articulated trucks, loaded with fresh tomatoes, were off-loading their consignments, while more than 10 trucks were waiting on the road.
The influx of the trucks caused a minor gridlock on the road, as other vehicles, pedestrians, wheelbarrow pushers and load carriers struggled for the right of way.
Mr Femi Odusanya, a consultant to Mile 12 Arewa Perishable Foodstuff Market Association, said that tomato farmers had been able to combat the menace of the pest, Tuta Absoluta.
“Tomato farmers did not find it funny when the pest invaded their farms between 2015 and 2016.
“What you are witnessing today is an indication that farmers have been successful in fighting Tuta Absoluta infestation of tomato farms in places like Kaduna, Jos, Kano, Katsina and Zaria.
“They have been able to achieve this feat, in combination with Federal Ministry of Agriculture and agriculture research institutes.
“There has been some synergy, education and training for farmers and tomato sellers in markets on how to deal with Tuta Absoluta; they also received training on Good Handling Practices (GHP) at tomato farms.
“At least, a 40kg. raft basket of tomatoes now sells for between N1,500 and N 3,500.
“This is unlike the same period in 2016 when the same 40kg. raft basket sold as high as N45,000 because of inadequate tomato supplies because of the Tuta Absoluta plague,’’ he said.
Odusanya said that farmers were now having bumper harvests, adding that tomato sales had consequently increased.
He said that the tomato farms of the association in Katsina had also flourished, thereby boosting tomato supplies and sales.
He said that the Mile 12 Market was also a centre for off-takers who procured over 900,000 tonnes of tomato for distribution to other states in the South-West geopolitical zone and countries like the Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana.
Odusanya recalled that at the peak of the crisis in March 2016, when a 40kg. raft basket cost around N47,000, the traders decided to alleviate the consumers’ plight by importing tomatoes from neighbouring countries.
He said that the traders adopted the strategy so as to augment the shortfall in tomato production in the country and force down prices.
Tomato farmers in Kano State alone lost over N2bn to Tuta Absoluta in 2016.
Eat’N’Go Expands To East Africa, Projects 180 Stores By Year End
In a bid to further extend its tentacles beyond the West African market, Eat’N’Go limited, one of the leading Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) operators in Nigeria and master franchisee for world-class food brands – Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, and Pinkberry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt, announced its expansion into the East African market.
This development comes after the successful acquisition of the franchisee which operated Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza in Kenya. This acquisition will see Eat’N’Go limited become the largest Domino’s pizza and Cold Stone Creamery Master Franchisee in Africa with operations in Nigeria and Kenya.
Since its entrance to Nigeria in 2012, the QSR company has grown exponentially and has continuously nurtured the drive to extend its footprint across the African market. This acquisition provides them their first foreign market expansion, making them a Pan African company with a total number of 147 outlets across Africa and a projection to reach 180 stores by end of 2021.
Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Eat’N’Go Limited, Patrick McMichael said that expanding into East Africa represents a very exciting time in the growth of the organization and also a strategic investment for the firm and its stakeholders. “Over the years, we have fostered the mission to not just bring the best QSR brands to Africa, but to directly impact on Africa’s economy and we are glad we are finally on the way to making this happen. Studying the growth of the Kenyan market in the last couple of years, we are convinced that now is the time to extend our footprint into the country.”
“We are very thrilled about this expansion as this move avails us more opportunity to provide Jobs to more Africans, especially in times like this. We remain thankful to all our customers, partners, and stakeholders who have supported us this far and we are more than ready to strengthen our dedication in satisfying the needs of our customers” Patrick added.
Eat’N’Go has over the years maintained its position as the leading food franchisee in Nigeria. As it expands its presence to other parts of Africa, the organization also places a strong focus on the quality of its products and services of all its three brands. The expansion to this new region is in line with the company’s plan to reach 180 stores across Africa by the end of 2021.
The milestone achievement and development will better position the company in its contribution to Nigeria and Africa’s economy. Currently home to over 3000 staff members across Africa, the company is committed to continuously provide job and business opportunities across the continent.
Eat’N’Go launched in 2012 in Nigeria with the vision to become the premier food operator in Africa. Today, the company has over 147 stores in Nigeria and Kenya and it continues to deliver on this promise by successfully rolling out the globally recognised brands Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza across Africa. The company continues to expand its presence in key markets by fusing company goals with new strategic development goals and is projected to reach 180 stores across Africa by end of 2021.
Shoprite Exit: LCCI Explains Challenges Hurting Business Operations in Nigeria
Following the recent announcement of Shoprite, a leading South Africa retail giant, that it is leaving the Nigerian market due to harsh business environment and tough business policies, Dr Muda Yusuf, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has explained some of the challenges responsible for such decision despite Nigeria’s huge population size.
Yusuf said while such decision is negative for the Nigerian economy, several factors like harsh business environment could have forced the company to make such decision. He said it also could be due to intense competitive pressure.
He said, “Shoprite is an international brand with presence in 14 African countries and about 3,000 stores. The comparative analysis of returns on investment in these countries may have informed the decision to exit the Nigeria market.
“The opportunities for retail business in Nigeria is immense. But the competition in the sector is also very intense.
“There are departmental stores in practically every neighbourhood in our urban centres around the country. There is also a strong informal sector presence in the retail sector. It is a very competitive space.”
According to the Director-General, there are also important investment climate issues that constitute downside risks to big stores like Shoprite.
He said, “These include the trade policy environment, which imposes strict restrictions on imports; the regulatory environment, which is characterised by a multitude of regulators making endless demands.
“There is also the foreign exchange policy, which has made imports and remittances difficult for foreign investors. There are challenges of infrastructure which put pressures on costs and erodes profit margins.”
The LCCI boss added, “But we need to stress that Shoprite is only divesting and selling its shares; Shoprite as a brand will remain. I am sure there are many investors who will be quite delighted to take over the shares.
“It should be noted that there are other South African firms in Nigeria doing good business. We have MTN, Multichoice, Stanbic IBTC, and Standard Chartered Bank, among others. Some of them are making more money in Nigeria than in South Africa.”
He added that some sectors are more vulnerable to the challenges of the business environment than others.
Afrinvest Appoints Mrs. Onaghinon As COO
Afrinvest West Africa Limited, has appointed the former head of public private partnership agency of the Edo State, Mrs Onoise Onaghinon as its chief operating officer.
Onaghinon joined Afrinvest in 2003 as an analyst in the firm’s investment banking division, rising through the ranks to become an associate, then vice president and eventually executive director & head of investment banking.
She is a seasoned veteran in the Nigerian capital markets and investment landscape with over 18 years of experience in capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, and restructurings across many industries.
In 2017, Onaghinon took a sabbatical from the Firm to head the Public Private Partnership Agency of the Edo State Government. Having acquitted herself creditably in the public sector, she has rejoined the Firm to resume as the new COO.
Speaking on the appointment, group managing director of Afrinvest, Ike Chioke, said: “over the years, Onaghinon has demonstrated great leadership, professional excellence and outstanding client commitment in driving the firm’s business units, particularly our investment banking division. We are delighted to have her back and we look forward to leveraging her cross-disciplinary experience across the Afrinvest group”.
In her new role, Onaghinon will oversee human resources, legal & compliance, internal control and general services while leading the firm’s initiatives to improve efficiency across its subsidiaries.
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