-By Ismail Auwal

The Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote has purchased a tomato processing plant from Kaduna state.

The state governor announced on Tuesday, as the state seeks to sell off assets to free up spending.

Reuters reports that, the Africa’s most populous country and the continent’s biggest oil producer, is tilting towards recession after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a collapse in global oil prices, hammering returns from the country’s main export.

The billionaire tycoon’s Dangote Group is active in cement, oil, food and sugar businesses, and is also expanding into farming. In 2016, Dangote started a tomato factory in Kano.

“As state governments we have very little choice,” said Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai, referring to fiscal constraints.

“We are running out of options to borrow and the federal government cannot bail us out forever,” he told a virtual conference on the privatisation of state assets.

Nigeria is in the process of accessing a $750 million World Bank loan to enable local states to support vulnerable households and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Nigeria imports up to 400,000 tonnes of tomato paste annually. The tinned paste is an ingredient in Nigerian tomato stew, used as a base for a host of traditional meat stews, sauces, soups and rice dishes that are staples of Nigerian cooking.

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