Another Indigenous Company Threatens To Leave Nigeria


An indigenous food company has threatened to move its business out of Nigeria if the government does not put policies in place to encourage the manufacturing sector.

Eric Umeofia, the Chief Executive Officer of Erisco foods limited issued the threat when he addressed a press conference on Wednesday in Lagos, accusing Nigerian authorities of favouring foreigners to the detriment of indigenous manufacturers.

He specifically mentioned the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, as government institutions whose policies do not promote local manufacturing.

Umeofia said about 1,500 workers of the company may be sacked in the next 30 days if the situation remains the same.

The CEO pointed out that his business was doing well in Dubai and Angola before he decided to move his investment worth over $150 million down to Nigeria.

“We brought our investment down to Nigeria, worth over USD150 million and invested it in our only country – Nigeria to process 450,000 metric tons of tomato paste and ketchup annually.

“Presently, we have over 2,000 workers but producing below 20% capacity utilization of our plant since inception,” he lamented.



    Umeofia alleged that the CBN allocated foreign exchange to foreigners to import frozen fish and paste that could be produced locally while it refused to allocate any forex to Erisco for the past three months to bring in raw materials.

    He added that an Indian firm was recently allocated USD15.1m at N280.00/1USD while Erisco continues to run its factory with forex sourced from the parallel market at over N450/USD1.

    The visibly unhappy CEO said that his workforce presently stands at 2050 while another 50 would have resumed by next Monday but the recruitment exercise had to be suspended.

    Journalists at the conference witnessed a peaceful protest by more than one thousand workers of the company, calling on the federal government to save their jobs as the CEO threatened to relocate.

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