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Why Dangote Shutdown Tomato Factory and Lessons to Learn from it

By Aroms Aigbehi

Spain produces 850 000 mT of raw tomatoes yearly; that is 12 percent of total European production. That is a lot of tomatoes because the Europeans eat lots of tomatoes. Lots of Nigerians work in the tomato farms in Spain.

There are so many tomatoes in Spain that once a year, Spaniards come together to have a very big tomato fight on the streets. They come with truckloads of tomatoes and people fight each other with it all day. It is a tradition and nobody gets hurt. But when you go to Spain, just make sure you stay away from the Bull Run. That one also happens every year but don’t mix them up.

In Nigeria, many brilliant people thought the problem of tomatoes shortage was because there weren’t enough processing power to process the tomatoes produced in the country and as a result, left to rot. Mr Aliko Dangote got that information too, so he might have thought ‘why not build a mega tomato factory to process all that tomatoes?

But he thought in his mind, ‘let’s have a plan B; let us recruit more farmers to produce tomatoes in case the present capacity was not enough.

As it happened, when the factory was completed, the tomatoes available in Nigeria could only run the factory for few weeks and there weren’t enough tomatoes because the country produces too little. Where are all the tomatoes the Minister said were spoiling in Nigeria due to lack of processing power? He must have asked.

Now, Mr Dangote is stuck with his tomato processing factory and has called in the Italians to come and build and run a very big tomatoes farm in Nigeria so he can run the processing factory.

This is the problem when people believe in fables and live in a fictional reality.

Hmm!! Or could it have been a spiritual attack on Dangote? Please don’t tear me apart for this ‘silly’ question.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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