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Market clash: Unions threaten to cut tomato supply to Lagos

6th May 2024

The Tomato Crates Dealers Association of Nigeria has threatened to cut tomato supply to Lagos State over the alleged destruction of its goods.

The association’s National Chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Alaramma, stated this during a news briefing in Zaria on Sunday.

Alaramma who is also the National Secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria said the clash at Ile-Epo Market in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos state, which began on May 1, had destroyed their investment in over 60,000 empty tomato crates.

He added that the raffia basket was initially used for conveying tomatoes to the south, however, it caused more damage to the tomatoes, hence, the introduction of plastic crates.

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

“These crates were burnt by the ‘area boys’ during the clash and they prevented our people from quenching the fire.

“We have audio-visual and other proof supporting our claims,” the chairman said.

He stated that each empty crate costs N6,000; therefore, members lost over N360 million in investment.

He, however, called on the Federal Government, Lagos State Government and other relevant stakeholders to look into the issue and compensate the association, to cushion the effect of the damage.

Alaramma said that the association was already in touch with its legal team over available legal remedies, in the event of unfavourable responses from the government.

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

A section of Ile-Epo Market was on Wednesday evening set on fire as hoodlums clashed leaving many people injured while some goods were destroyed in the process.

Following the crash, 50 people were arrested in relation to the clash by the Nigerian Police Force.

SourcePUNCH

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