NIGERIA – GB Foods, a prominent culinary business in Africa and Europe, has inaugurated a N20 billion (USD 13.46 million) state-of-the-art tomato processing plant in Kebbi state, Nigeria, aimed at bolstering paste production in the nation and curbing the import bill for this vital commodity.

Spanning an expansive 1,500 hectares of land, the farm and factory feature a state-of-the-art 620 metric tons per day processing plant and are set to create approximately 2,000 jobs, with plans to double the workforce during the next expansion phase. Once the expansion is complete, this integrated tomato project will stand as the largest in Africa.

President Bola Tinubu, who officiated the plant’s inauguration in Gafara village of Ngaski Local Government Area, commended GB Foods for its investment, emphasizing the commitment of the administration to create a favorable environment for private investors.

The President’s representation by Abubakar Kyari, Minister of Agriculture, underscored the significance of foreign investors’ confidence in Nigeria’s policy environment.

“This is the second time I’m 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,” President Tinubu stated.

Kebbi state governor Nasir Idris acknowledged GB Foods’ boldness in confronting challenges, lauding the company for engaging 3,335 local out-growers in tomato production.

He pledged full government support to ensure the plant operates at maximum capacity, recognizing its status as the largest tomato processing facility in the region.

Vincent Egbe, CEO of GB Foods Nigeria, expressed gratitude to attendees and highlighted the company’s pivotal role in generating 75 percent of Nigeria’s total tomato concentrate during the 2022-23 seasons.

Despite this contribution, Egbe stressed the ongoing demand-supply gap, emphasizing the necessity for further expansion and development in the sector.

Egbe emphasized the company’s commitment to expanding investments despite macroeconomic challenges, with the aim of making Nigeria self-sufficient in tomato production and an export hub.

“Today’s ground-breaking event is a testament to what we stand for and the potential of investments in Nigeria,” Egbe remarked.

“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.”

The ceremony drew distinguished guests, including the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Juan Sell, Ignasi Ricou and Vicenç Bosch, and key executives of GB Foods global CEO and Africa CEO.

 Also present were Muhammad Zayyanu-Abdullahi, Emir of Yauri, and members of the National Assembly representing Kebbi State, along with Kebbi State Executive Council members.

GB Foods’ ambitious investment in this state-of-the-art tomato processing plant reflects its dedication to transforming Nigeria into a self-sufficient and globally competitive player in the tomato production industry.

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