A private rice mill in Kano, Tiamin Rice Limited, has cried out after the state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, shut it down over false claims that its activities was contributing to the spread of Coronavirus in the state.
SaharaReporters gathered on Tuesday that a court in Kano had granted an order restraining the Kano State Government from sealing the mill while awarding a relief of N10m to company.
Aliyu Ibrahim, Deputy Managing Director of Tiamin Rice, in a statement, said he received with great shock the decision of the Kano State Ministry of Environment to shut down the company over frivolous allegations bordering on alleged air pollution.
He said, “To set the records straight, there are nearly 30 rice mills operating in Kano State but our company is the only one affected by the order.
“The fact of the matter is that neither state nor federal health officials, nor Ministry of Environment inspectors came to our premises to take any samples of the said pollution.
“Although the Rice Processors Association of Nigeria, which we are a member, has been exempted from the lockdown order by the state government, we nevertheless halted our production for one week to put in robust internal measures against the spread of Coronavirus.
“Since halting production on Wednesday April 15, 2020, our workers have been on break and our engines and boilers switched off.
“When and how did the ministry arrive at the premise of pollution that aggravates Coronavirus patients when our plant is deactivated?”
Ibrahim accused the Kano State Government of scheming to put it out of business contrary to the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, which stated that food processing factories were exempted from statewide lockdowns.
He said, “We view this orchestrated plan to close our 320-tonne plant as economic sabotage.
“While following legal avenues to seek redress, we wish to assure our loyal customers and distributors not to panic over this temporary setback.”