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Ebonyi stone dealers blame COVID-19 for reduced profit

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By Ruth Oginyi

Ebonyi state, stone crushers have decried drop in profit in stone business in the state and attributed it to the inter-state lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, saying it was the worst business experience since the inception of the association.

Okposi Umuogharu is located in Ezza North local government area and the site is the major stone crushing site in the state capital. It deals on chippings and granites but was said to have recorded a profit slump of over 90 percent according to them.

Comrade Ugo Nweze, chairman of the association’s Okposi Umuoghara sites in Abakaliki, speaking to journalists, said it would take time for them to recover.

According to Nweze, the inter-state lockdown affected movement of their customers from neighbouring Abia, Enugu and Anambra states, adding that “the lockdown affected construction works everywhere, not only here in Ebonyi but also Anambra, Enugu, Abia and Imo states as some of them spent up to three days trying to cross the borders.”

Nweze said, “we source these lumps that we crush here from Ezza Inyimagu, Ogbaga. When you source for lumps in these places, you bring them here in Umuoghara for crushing. They will break it into pieces here before you also crush it here. But the thing is that for five, six months here was lockdown because of the coronavirus which crippled every activity.”

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