Despite efforts to plug huge tomato deficit in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria, Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, still can not get enough tomatoes for Africa’s largest tomato processing plant six years later.
The 1,200 ton a day processing plant operates at just 20 percent of its original capacity because farmers contracted doesn’t have enough tomatoes to supply the factory due to flooding and other factors.
Launched in March 2016, the tomato processing plant has been shut three times because of supply-related issues in spite of the huge demand for the product and the fact that Nigeria still relies on imports to plug her large tomato paste deficit.
The plant was established to cut 300,000 tons of tomato-paste import from China annually by taking advantage of about 900,000 tons of tomatoes lost after harvest every year due to lack of storage and processing facilities.
However, facts available have shown that was not the case as farmers have not been able to supply the plant enough tomatoes to operate even at 30 percent of its original capacity.
“We haven’t been able to process enough quantity of tomato to make our operations successful,” said Abdulkarim Kaita, managing director of the Dangote Tomato Processing Plant. “At the moment, we are counting losses.”
Presently, the Dangote Tomato processing plant is presently processing around 300 metric tons a day, the highest capacity it has achieved since 2016, but not enough to keep the plant operational given that it requires the same power and cost to run at full capacity.
Despite the deficit in raw material, the plant can not import tomatoes due to Federal Government restrictions that barred the importation of tomatoes along with other 50 products to stimulate local production and ease pressure on Nigeria’s foreign reserves.
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Dangote Petroleum Refinery Set to Make History with Public Listing on NGX
Aliko Dangote, the president and chief executive of Dangote Industries Limited, has announced plans to publicly list the subsidiary, Dangote Petroleum Refinery, on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).
Dangote expressed confidence in overcoming previous challenges related to crude oil supply, stating, “We have resolved all the issues with crude oil supply. We are now ready to move forward with our plans to list the refinery on the Nigerian Exchange Limited.”
The refinery, poised to commence operations in December, holds the promise of significant contributions to the Nigerian economy.
At full capacity, it is expected to produce 650,000 barrels of oil per day, with an initial rollout of 540,000 barrels daily.
The facility will produce 27 million liters of diesel, 11 million liters of kerosene, and nine million liters of jet fuel, sourcing crude from various Nigerian producers, including the state oil company.
A finalized deal for the delivery of the first cargo of approximately six million barrels next month signals the imminent realization of this ambitious project.
The refinery’s impact is anticipated to extend beyond the oil and gas sector, with projections suggesting significant cost savings for Nigeria by eliminating the need to import petrol.
Industry operators and government officials are optimistic about the transformative potential of the Dangote Refinery.
Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), lauded the project as the best-industrialized initiative for Africa, projecting substantial savings for Nigeria and the continent as a whole.
As Nigeria’s largest refinery project, the facility has garnered praise from the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
Dr. Chinyere Almona, the LCCI Director-General, commended the visionary efforts of Aliko Dangote and the supportive federal government, emphasizing the refinery’s capacity to meet Nigeria’s refined petroleum product needs.
The impending listing on the NGX positions Dangote Petroleum Refinery as a catalyst for economic growth, energy security, and self-sufficiency in Nigeria and beyond.
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