High cost of tomato, pepper looms in Lagos as union threatens to cut supply over market clash

The cost of tomatoes and peppers could increase in Lagos as the Tomato Crates Dealers Association of Nigeria threatens to cut the supply of tomatoes to the state due to alleged damage to its goods during a clash at Ilepo market on Wednesday.

Alhaji Ahmed Alaramma, the national chairman of the union, issued this warning during a press briefing on Sunday in Zaria.

Alaramma, who is also the National Secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, stated that the clash at Ile-epo Market in the Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, which started on May 1, resulted in the destruction of their investment in over 60,000 empty tomato crates.

Alaramma explained that raffia baskets were initially used to transport tomatoes to the south, but they caused significant damage to the tomatoes, leading to the adoption 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.

According to him, each empty crate is priced at N6,000; thus, the members have incurred a loss of over N360 million in investment.

He appealed to the Federal Government, Lagos State Government, and other relevant stakeholders to address the issue and provide compensation to the association to mitigate the impact of the damage.

Alaramma also mentioned that the association is already consulting with its legal team regarding potential legal actions if the government’s response is not satisfactory.

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

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