By Deborah Oghenebrume
There are indications that the inadequate and unstable power supply has affected small-scale businesses, thus creating more unemployment and poverty in Nigeria.
A survey conducted by Vanguard in Lagos and its environs showed that while many small scale businesses generate private electricity at a higher cost to remain in business, others have been compelled to close shops.
In an interview with Vanguard, Mrs Rita Johnson a resident of Amuwo Odofin said: “I have been in this area for the past five years, and the power supply is quite poor. Even when we anticipate better supply, the opposite is what we get.”
“The most annoying part is that the supply is not regular and whenever it seems like it is sufficient they come with crazy bills. ‘No doubt that people who connect illegally do that out of frustration as the bills are very high with no consideration on the supply.”
Also speaking, Mr Uche Donald, a trader in Festac Extension, said: “We get less than nine hours daily and an average bill per month varies from N5, 000 to N7, 000. Also, I spend an average of N1, 500 daily to power my generator.”
For Bose Alabi, a boutique owner at Jakande estate, said, “I hardly consume power three hours daily, and it is not helping my business. I run a cold room as well, whereby power supply is needed 24 hours every day, but due to the insufficient power supply, I have to run my generator for 24 hours daily.”
She added that her consumption of diesel is leading to a great loss in her business, saying an average of N5, 000 daily is spent on the alternative power supply to keep her refrigerator running to forestall her goods from perishing.
Meanwhile, a resident of Jakande Estate Amuwo Odofin, Mr Clarkson Oghenebrume said: “Years back we felt prepaid meter was a better option to efficient supply, only for us to realize we remained on the same fate of poor power supply. The electricity company is known for insufficient power supply, I use the prepaid meter and get a maximum of nine hours daily, and the bill monthly is nothing less than N7, 000.
“Whenever a fault comes up on the meter, it takes them a week or more to rectify it and this they do at their speed. Most times faults come up from their end and they give an ignorant attitude towards it. This has given us reasons to use our generator set leading to more spending than expected. Also, I consume nothing less than N1, 500 on fuel daily to keep my house running.”