Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Nigeria's Dangote buys Kaduna state's tomato factory


Africa's richest man Aliko Dangote
has acquired a tomato processing plant from Kaduna, the state governor said on Tuesday, as the
state seeks to sell off assets to free up spending.
Nigeria, Africa's most populous country and the continent's
biggest oil producer, is tilting towards recession after the
COVID-19 pandemic triggered a collapse in global oil prices,
hammering returns from the country's main export.
The billionaire tycoon's Dangote Group is active in cement,
oil, food and sugar businesses, and is also expanding into
farming. In 2016, Dangote started a tomato factory in Kano.
"As state governments we have very little choice," said
Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai, referring to fiscal
constraints. "We are running out of options to borrow and the federal
government cannot bail us out forever," he told a virtual
conference on the privatisation of state assets. Nigeria is in the process of accessing a $750 million World
Bank loan to enable local states to support vulnerable
households and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on
the economy. Nigeria imports up to 400,000 tonnes of tomato paste
annually. The tinned paste is an ingredient in Nigerian tomato
stew, used as a base for a host of traditional meat stews,
sauces, soups and rice dishes that are staples of Nigerian
cooking.

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