Labaran Kasa

Investors suspend production at Kano Free Trade Zone over power disconnect

It was gathered that Kano Electricity Distribution Company KEDCO cut off the power supply in the industrial area a week ago leaving manufacturers to running 24 hours production under gas-powered engines.

Investors at the Federal government-owned Kano Free Trade Zone are presently counting their losses due to power outages in the zone.

Some factories have already suspended operations due to the cost of fueling generator for power to run their businesses.

It was gathered that Kano Electricity Distribution Company KEDCO cut off the power supply in the industrial area a week ago leaving manufacturers to running 24 hours production under gas-powered engines.

The manufacturers operating in the vast industrial property under the management of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, (NEPZA), are presently lamented untold hardships and difficulties in sustaining businesses in uncertain economic situations.

In the same vein, others are contemplating shutting down in few days, if the situation persists.

The operators who accused the management of the zone of failure to settle the energy bill having paid their dues wondered why NEPZA under the Federal Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry would deliberately subject local manufacturers to excruciating pains under its ease of doing business policy.

It was also gathered that NEPZA is indebted to the power distribution company, the bill running into millions of naira, a development which compelled the disconnection of the zone from the power grid in the eight days.

“I am surprised the Federal government will allow this development to continue this way in the last five days after several pledges to ease means of doing business in the zone.

“You can imagine in the last five days we have been running on a generator and you know how difficult the economy is.

“We want to appeal to concerned authorities to do something urgently. No business can sustain under this condition”, a business owner disclosed under anonymity.

Another investor said that his considering shutting down production in the next two days if the management refused to settle the electricity bill.

He worries that fuel consumption at this period of the economy was not sustainable. He said investors did not serve total blackout for any reason having paid their consumption fee to the Federal government.

Though the man-in-charge of NEPZA, Kano zone was not disposed to speak to journalists as at the time of visit, a source told our correspondent that the management was not owing KEDCO.

The reliable source who debunked the position of the investors claimed that the power outage was only temporary due to a technical fault that would soon be rectified.

The Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry, Chief Richard Adeniyi Adebayo on a recent visit to the Kano zone disclosed that provides for independent power supply to the zone has been awarded.

The Minister had assured that difficulties being experienced by investors as a result of inadequate power supply from the distribution company would be a thing of the past as soon as the Federal Government power project is completed.

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