Tinubu Vows Support for Manufacturers during Tomato Plant Inauguration

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President Bola Tinubu has assured his commitment to bolstering the manufacturing sector in Nigeria. He made this pledge during the inauguration ceremony of a tomato-processing plant established by the multinational company, GB Foods, located in Gafara, Ngaski Local Government Area of Kebbi State.

Represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, the President expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “Let me say that this is the second time I am coming to Kebbi State in a little over a month. First, I visited a Rice Mill, the largest in West Africa, and today I’m visiting the largest tomato factory in Africa, all in Kebbi State.”

Tinubu hailed GB Foods’ investment as a testament to the confidence of foreign investors in Nigeria’s policy environment.

The multinational food company, with operations spanning over 50 African and European countries, described the newly inaugurated plant as a significant expansion of its investment portfolio in Nigeria.

Spanning across 1500 hectares of land, the farm and factory feature a 620 metric tonnes per day processing plant and have generated 2000 employment opportunities, a figure GB Foods plans to double in its upcoming expansion phase. Upon completion, the farm and processing facility are poised to become Africa’s largest integrated tomato project.

During the event, Kebbi State Governor, Dr. Nasir Idris, commended GB Foods for its steadfastness in overcoming challenges. He acknowledged that while the project was initiated under the leadership of former Governor Atiku Bagudu, its completion occurred during his tenure. The Governor also expressed gratitude to GB Foods for engaging 3,335 local out-growers for tomato production in the state, promising full government support to ensure the plant operates at maximum capacity.

Vincent Egbe, the Chief Executive Officer of GB Foods Nigeria, highlighted the pivotal role played by GB Foods’ farm and factory in Kebbi during the 2022-23 season, accounting for 75 per cent of the total tomato concentrate produced in Nigeria. He remarked, “Today’s ground-breaking event is a testament to what we stand for and the potential of investments in Nigeria. We have laid the foundation as the first large-scale tomato processing company in Nigeria to expand into backward integration, constructing a 620 metric tonnes per day processing plant and developing 1,500 hectares of tomato farms here in Kebbi State.”

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