Tiamin Rice Limited says the Kano state ministry of environment has shut its milling plant on claims of air pollution “worsening the condition of coronavirus patients”.
Aliyu Ibrahim, the company’s deputy managing director, said the state sent a notice for the closure on April 18, 2020.
“To set the records straight, there are nearly 30 rice mills operating in Kano state, but Tiamin Rice Limited is the only company affected by the order, despite its distance of over 20kms away from the isolation centre at Sani Abacha Stadium,” he said.
The rice mill is said to produce 320 metric tonnes of rice daily and has 223 workers on its payroll and additional over 100 casual staff.
“According to the notice, the government took the decision, following complaints of air pollution which aggravate coronavirus patients,” Ibrahim said in a statement.
“In his nationwide address, President Muhammadu Buhari has exempted all food production and processing companies in order to minimize the impact of the pandemic on the nation and ensure food security.
“The effect of this closure of Tiamin Rice Limited on the nation’s economy in general and Kano, in particular, cannot be overemphasized. It has completely jeopardised the economy of the ancient city and has exposed the citizens to hunger.”
Ibrahim assured customers that the company’s 600-tonne capacity plant in Bauchi would soon be activated while continuing efforts to resolve the matter amicably.
As at 11:50pm on Sunday, the state had 36 active COVID-19 patients and has recorded one death.
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