Unions threaten to cut Tomato supply to south over Lagos market clash

Usman Abdullah
Usman Abdullah

The Tomato Crates Dealers Association of Nigeria and the Amalgamated Union of Food Stuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria have threatened to cut tomato supply to Lagos State over the destruction of their commodities.

Alhaji Ahmed Alaramma, the National Chairman, Tomato Crates Dealers Association, made the threat at a press briefing in Zaria, Kaduna State, on Sunday.

He said the incident that occurred at Oke-Odo market in Lagos, led to the destruction of over 60,000 empty tomato crates.

Alaramma, who is also the National Secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Food Stuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, explained that the raffia basket was initially used for conveying tomatoes to the south, the raffia basket caused more damage.

He added that the plastic crates were introduced to mitigate the damage and waste while conveying fresh tomatoes from the north to the south of Nigeria.

“Over 70 members of the association rent out the crates to tomato dealers across the country; we have over 60,000 crates that were about to be returned to the market during the turmoil.

“These crates were burnt by the area boys during the clash and the area boys prevented our people from quenching the fire. We have video evidence and other proof supporting our claims,” the Chairman said.

According to him, each empty crate cost N6,000; therefore, members lost over N360 million in investment.

He appealed to the federal government, Lagos state government and other relevant stakeholders to look into this and compensate the association to cushion the effect of the damage.

He said the association was already in touch with its legal team over available legal remedies in the event of unfavorable response from the government.

“If nothing is done, we will have no option than to cut supply of tomatoes to Lagos over this incident,” Alaramma said.

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