Frozen food traders lose N10 million to blackout in Lagos

Newsmen gathered that frozen food traders in Ijora-Olopa, Lagos, lost N10 million worth of food items between May 23 and May 25 to blackout.

They said yesterday that the blackout is worsened by the scarcity of fuel, needed to power their generators.

Alhaja Afusat Popoola, President of the Ajeromi Frozen Food Market Association, said the lost items included chicken, turkey, fish, shrimps, gizzard and prawns.

Mrs Popoola said the traders were victims of the faceoff between the Federal Government and the marketers.

Her members, she said, were caught unawares because they never envisaged a prolonged crisis.
She said: “The traders were crying when we ordered them to surrender all the decayed food items for destruction on Tuesday. 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 on Tuesday because of power outages and our inability to purchase petrol and diesel was worth more than N10 million.
“We are appealing to the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) to always consider the impact of outages on our business and the health of the general public.

“Our business depends on regular supply of electricity.”

The market leader said the irregular power supply forced many traders out of business, while others are owing banks.

“We used to have many frozen food traders in this market before but this power outage 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,” she said, adding: “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. By the time one removes this amount from monthly sales, you discovered that you’ve spent a good part of your profit to buy diesel.”
Mrs Popoola urged government to intervene and save the sector from collapse.



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