Erisco Foods threatens to fire 1,500 workers, leave Nigeria

An indigenous firm, Erisco Foods, has said it may be forced to shut down its production in the country due to its inability to access foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria for the procurement of machinery.

The company’s Chief Executive, Mr. Eric Umeofia, said it would lay off 1,500 employees and quit Nigeria for a more favourable business environment if things don’t change.

He said this in Lagos on Wednesday when some of the company’s workers held a protest, lamenting plans by the company to halt operations and lay off workers.

Umeofia said, “It is difficult for indigenous manufacturers to access forex despite CBN’s promise to manufacturers that they will allocate 60 per cent of foreign exchange to them.

“It is unbelievable that for over two months, no forex has been allocated to Erisco Foods whereas the same forex is allocated daily for the importation of finished goods

“Products that can be easily produced locally like fish head, tomato paste, razor blade are on the forex bids of the various banks.”

He said that the high interest rates charged by commercial banks, importation as well as policy constraints were disincentives to manufacturer’s production in the country.

He said, “The prices of our products are high due to high cost of production and this is in addition that we currently generate our own power.

“We have lost over N3.5bn in our bid to industrialise Nigerian economy and (are) ready to move our production section to another country.”

Umeofia complained that the penchant of Nigerians for imported goods and lack of clear policy against importation of goods that could be manufactured locally were destroying manufacturers.

He said, “We have stock of tomato paste worth over N6bn now and not selling due to dumping and conspiracy against indigenous manufacturers.

“We have complained publicly and officially to all the relevant government agencies with loads of evidence, but regrettably nothing has changed till date.

“We will be forced against our patriotic wish to relocate our operations to a country where there is conducive and favourable environment for manufacturing if within 30 days from now nothing significant is done by the government to address these issues.

“We will lay off 1,500 of our employees in the factory, replicate our $150m investment in another country and from there import tomato paste to Nigeria.”

Erisco Foods has a production capacity of 450,000 metric tons of tomato paste annually for 22 brands with over 2,000 workers.

The company’s workers had in their hundreds held a peaceful protest against the management’s plan to shut its production worth about $150m.

The workers were seen carrying placards and chanting songs around the factory premises in Oregun, Lagos.

The Area Sales Manager, Erisco Foods, Mr. Ayoola Oladayo, urged the Federal Government to save their jobs by intervening in the situation of the company.

He said, “We appeal to the government to save our jobs and families.

“The unemployment rate is alarming and we do not want to be classified as jobless in this harsh economic situation of the country.

“About 2,000 of us will be affected in various factories if the company shuts down.

“We urge the government to assist Erisco Foods and other indigenous manufacturers to continue to contribute to the country’s GDP.”

Mr. Obinna Ezeugwa, another worker, said that the country needed active participation of the private sector to create employment for the citizens for sustainable economic development.


‘I Got Too Many Hits To Care,’ Singer Terry G Boasts

Controversial singer, Gabriel Amanyi aka Terry G has reportedly boasted of having too many music hits to care about whose ox is gored.

In a report by an online portal, Airwaves Report, the singer reportedly said he felt the attitude of DJ Phriz was a slap on his face and has put so much into his art to be rubbished.

Will heaven fall if a comedian comes to whisper in my ears and say you’re running out of time; round up? That was a slap on my face. Give or take, I got too many hits to care about who cares.

I am not a kid in this industry, and am not a one hit kind of artist, why on earth will I walk up to a show if I was not billed and a DJ will be playing another artiste’s song just to chase me out of the stage?” he asked rhetorically.

Reacting to the ugly occurrence where he slapped a Disc Jockey for stopping his song to play another musician’s song while he was still performing, Terry G said he had apologised to all parties concerned.

He also admitted getting emotional about the entire scenario which played itself out while he was on the stage.

“Though, I was angry and emotional at the same time and even the crowd complained about the DJ’s behavior. I guess that’s why I did what I did because it can happen to anybody, but I’ve apologized to Jimmy Jatt and Dj Phriz,” he said further.

On Saturday, June 5, 2016, Terry G reportedly slapped DJ Jimmy Jatt’s protege, DJ Phriz, who was holding down for the respected and veteran DJ at a comedy show that held at the Shell Hall of Muson centre.

Subsequently, the singer’s songs has been reportedly banned by the DeeJays Association of Nigerian following the ugly incident.

Herdsman Stabs Farmer To Death In Nasarawa

HerdsmanA farmer in Nasarawa state has been allegedly stabbed to death by a herdsman following argument over crops.

The Nasarawa State Command of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) which confirmed the arrest of the suspect, disclosed that the farmer Malam Nasiru Mohammed was stabbed to death in his farm on June 1. Continue reading “Herdsman Stabs Farmer To Death In Nasarawa”

LAUTECH Stops All Students’ Union Activities

The Management of the Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH) at its emergency meeting held on Monday, June 6, 2016, suspended all the student Union activities in the institution until further notice.

This was disclosed in a statement by the school management on its news portal.

The suspension notice came after the students were unable to control themselves during the election which was alleged that the SUG e-voting exercise was manipulated.
It reads: At an emergency meeting of the Expanded Management Committee held on Monday, June 6, 2016, a decision was taken to the effect that all Student Union activities be suspended with immediate effect and until further notice.

Management has also set up an investigation panel to examine all aspects of the 2016 Student Union election in all its ramifications.
All students are to note this for compliance.