Frozen Food Traders Lose N10m to Fuel Scarcity

Frozen food traders at the Ijora-Olopa area of Lagos last week said that they lost various food items with N10million between May 23 and May 25 following the lingering national energy crisis.
Investigations reveal that the traders from the traders that the persistent electricity outrage in the frozen food market was worsened by the scarcity of petrol and diesel needed to power their generating plants.
President of the Ajeromi Frozen Food Market, Alhaja Afusat Popoola told the National Daily correspondent that the lost food items included chicken, turkey, fish, shrimps, gizzard and prawns.
Expatiating further, Popoola said that the traders were victims of the logjam between the Federal Government and the Petroleum products marketers over outstanding subsidy payment.
She also revealed that her members were caught unawares because they never envisaged that the nation was going to be thrown into a prolonged crisis.
“The traders were crying when we ordered them to surrender all the decayed food items for destruction recently.
“The market has a reputation for selling fresh frozen food and we cannot allow any trader to sell bad frozen food under our leadership.
“What we destroyed recently because of power outrages and our inability to purchase petrol and diesel was worth more than N10million.
The association has therefore, appealed to the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EkoDC) to always consider the impact of frozen food traders and the health of the general public, stressing that “our business depends on regular supply of electricity.
Alhaja Popoola said that irregular power supply had forced many traders out of the frozen food business and also made many of them to be indebted to the banks.
“We used to have many frozen food traders in this market before but this power outrage has cost them to lose their trade.
“Previously when power supply was regular, we used to sell more than seven trucks of fish, turkey and chicken daily.
“There is no kind of fish that one will not find in this market before, because it is the number one frozen food market but now the poor power supply has liquidated many traders.
“Some of the traders that are using generating sets are spending close to N80,000 to buy diesel or petrol monthly,” she said.
“By the time one removes this amount from monthly sales, you discovered that you have spent a good part of your profit to buy diesel,” she said.
Concluding, Alhaja Popoola urged the government to intervene urgently and save the medium sized frozen food businesses from total collapse.

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