Kano State Commissioner for Environment, Dr Kabiru Getso says the state government sealed the Tiamin Rice Mill in Kano due to its closeness to Kwanar Dawakin Kudu Covid-19 Isolation Centre.
Mr Getso made the clarification following claims by the company that it did nothing wrong to warrant the closure and threatened to take legal action on the matter.
The commissioner told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Kano that the government had earlier issued warnings to the company over uncontrolled pollution in its area of operation.
He said that the warnings followed complaints from communities around the company.
“Despite the two warnings, the company did not take any measure in curtailing the problem.
“And now with the Dawaki hospital converted to an isolation centre for the Covid-19, government has to seal the company.” Mr Getso added.
The commissioner dismissed insinuations that the company was sealed for political reasons.
“As a health practitioner and the immediate past commissioner for health, I know the implication of air pollution to respiratory problems and to Corinavirus disease in particular.”
NAN reports that the rice mill was sealed on Sunday by the environment ministry.
Aliyu Ibrahim, the company’s Deputy Managing Director, had in a statement on Sunday questioned the rationale behind the closure of the rice mill out of the 30 existing in the state.
He also claimed that the company had halted its production for one week to put in robust internal measures against the spread of Coronavirus
“Since halting production on Wednesday, April 15, our workers have been on break and our engines and boilers were switched off,” he said.
Mr Ibrahim said the company would follow legal avenues to seek redress.