Recyclers in plastic and nylon in Suleja area, Niger State, are closing business as the result of power dropping in the area.
A cross section of the entrepreneurs interviewed by the North Central Trust, lamented that their power supply drawn from dedicated sources has dropped from its 20 hours under industrial high tariff arrangement, to only three hours a day.
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One of their leaders, Nura Muhammad, said many of them who could not afford the use of special power generators have shut down their machines in order to protect them.
He said low power supply could easily damage the machines.
“Most of these machines that we use in recycling, injecting, and molding the rubber need a constant power supply of a minimum of two hours to get them warmed and ready for production, and anything short of that can render the raw plastic damaged.
“We have been taking our case to the AEDC Area Manager in charge of the Suleja to no avail.
“Our tariff, which is supposed to supply power for 20 hours, is the most expensive, charging N67 per kilowatt unit, but what we are getting now is ineffective to our operation, Nura said.
Another recycler, Ibrahim Musa, said based on the inquiries they made since the beginning of the development about two weeks now, they discovered that, most of the power supplies meant to them are being diverted to a recycling plant owned by a foreign firm to the detriment of local recyclers.
Comrade Muhammad Dakata is engaged in buying and crushing plastic, using a single grinding machine in his plant.
He said he has about 20 workers under him and produced two tons of ground scrapped plastic a day before the advent of low power supply.
“But I make less money due to the current situation we have found ourselves. I hardly produce 200 kilogrammes a day now.
He said he could no longer afford to give his staff a daily feeding allowance due to falling revenue, adding that he now uses only few of them.
North Central Trust reports that the situation has also affected suppliers of scrap who come from neighbouring states of Benue and Kwara as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
Also affected by the situation are dealers in finished plastic products who also come from as far away as Niger Republic, Chad and Mali, some of the recyclers said.
Bulus Diwa, one of the recyclers, said they could not meet the demand of even their local customers.
A tea vendor in the area, Imrana Musa, said his business has drastically reduced due to the development.
“In the past, I was selling up to three cartons of noodles and about 60 loaves of bread, but I hardly sell a quarter of that now, since all the place has been deserted.
“The painful aspect is that, most of the people that still patronise me do not pay instantly.’’
Responding, the spokeperson of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Oyebode Fadipe, confirmed the power drop which he said was a result of challenges being faced in generation nationwide.
He said Suleja area alone required about 100mw under normal circumstances.
He however, denied the allegation that the supply was being diverted to another recycling plant.