Erisco Foods Loses Over N450m To Lagos Fire Outbreak
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
At least goods worth over N450 million were lost to a fire incident that occurred at the warehouse of Erisco Foods Nigeria located inside the Eleganza House in Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday morning.
Addressing newsmen after the incident, General Manager of Erisco Foods, Mr Tokumbo Agbede, explained that the fire affected two sections of the warehouse containing stocks of dried tomatoes which serves as the major raw material used in the production of tomato paste by the company.
Mr Agbede disclosed that the prompt intervention of officials of the Lagos Fire Service did not allow the entire warehouse building destroyed by the inferno.
However, he said the police and Lagos State Fire Service have commenced investigations into the cause of the fire outbreak, revealing that some employees who worked at the warehouse before and during the incident were being interrogated.
“We lost raw materials and other goods worth over N450million to the inferno and it is really a sad day for all of us here.
“Whether it is sabotage or not, we don’t know the cause yet, but we have to wait for the final report from the Police and Fire Service before we can be certain,” Mr Agbede said.
Giving an insight on what could possibly cause the fire incident, the firm’s boss said, “We don’t usually keep raw materials for more than a month before taking them to the factory to process.
“[But] current stocks have been here for more than six months because we have not been processing again and I can tell you that they just caught fire on their own because of the heat we are having in Lagos these days and these materials are sometimes inflammable.”
He blamed this on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for not allocating the requisite foreign exchange (forex) to the company to import other raw materials that could have aided in the utilisation of the dried tomatoes for the manufacture of tomato paste.
Few weeks ago, Erisco Foods announced closure of its manufacturing plants in Nigeria due to harsh economy in Nigeria.