The Managing Director of Dangote Tomato Processing Company, Alhaji Abdulkarim Kaita, has called for effective surveillance at the nation’s seaports as part of measures to check alleged importation of tomato paste by traders. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Monday that despite the ban on the importation of the product, some Nigerians are still bringing it into the country through the seaports.
“We are calling on the Federal Government to ensure effective surveillance at the nation’s sea ports to check importation of tomato paste by unpatriotic Nigerians.
“Even though the federal government has banned the importation of the commodity, some unpatriotic Nigerians are still importing it through the seaports,” he said.
He alleged that the importation of tomato paste was still thriving through Port Harcourt, adding that there is need for the agencies concerned to intensify surveillance to check the illegal activity.
Kaita, who is also Managing Director of Dangote Farms, commended the government for its efforts to boost tomato production through the Anchor Borrower programme. He advised the government to take stringent measures to enforce total ban of tomato paste importation, so as to encourage local production, create employment and enhance socio-economic development.
On the distribution of tomato seedlings under the Anchor Borrower programme, the managing director said only about 1, 000 out of the 10, 000 registered farmers were able to receive the seedlings.
“The distribution has faced a lot of challenges, because as I am speaking to you now, only 1, 000 out of the 10, 000 registered farmers were able to get the seedlings due to late commencement of the exercise,” he said.
He, however, called on farmers who have not received the seedlings to exercise patience and wait for the next season as they would be the first to be considered.