Nigeria: “Economic Struggles Ignite Innovation: Frozen Food Sellers Turn to Frying Amidst Epileptic Power Supply”
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
In the face of Nigeria’s economic challenges, the unreliable power supply exacerbates the struggles of businesses, particularly frozen food sellers. Rising diesel and fuel costs make individual power generation unsustainable, leading to inflated overheads and frozen food prices.
Frozen food sellers, heavily reliant on consistent electricity, now find themselves grappling with unsold goods due to power interruptions. In a bid to salvage their products, some sellers have resorted to frying chicken, turkey, and fish, using constant light to preserve them. This unconventional approach stems from the difficulty in affording daily preservation costs in cold rooms, exacerbated by inconsistent power supply and high diesel prices.
Madam Aliyah Kareem, a frozen food seller, highlights the economic strain, noting the increased cost of frozen foods and its impact on patronage. The dilemma prompts her and others to innovate by frying unsold goods, adding spices and salt to maintain freshness. Surprisingly, customers welcome this change, expressing a preference for fried over iced products.
Another seller, Mrs. Agnes Salako, narrates her struggle to preserve goods during a prolonged power outage. Resorting to roasting chicken and turkey unexpectedly attracts customers, who appreciate the saved costs of buying vegetable oil and gas for frying.
Customer Mr. Menshack Bassey appreciates the convenience of smoked chicken, saving him time in meal preparation. This shift in consumer preference reflects the challenges posed by unreliable power supply on both businesses and customers.
The Central Bank of Nigeria’s Q3’23 Economic Report reveals a decline in average electricity generation, contributing to the challenges faced by businesses. The National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) flags risks to the national power grid, including outages and deviations in frequency.
Amidst these challenges, the Minister of Power, Mr. Adebayo Adelabu, hints at the government’s proposed unbundling of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) into two entities, aligning with the Electricity Act 2023 and industry demands.
In conclusion, the article underscores the impact of epileptic power supply on frozen food businesses, leading to innovative measures such as frying unsold goods. The struggle with electricity challenges mirrors the broader economic difficulties faced by businesses in Nigeria.