Power Sector News
POWER OUTAGE - CALABAR HOTELIERS LAMENT INCREASING COST OF DOING BUSINESS
Hoteliers in Calabar, Cross River State, are lamenting the increasing costs of doing business because of the power outage that has affected the capital city for 49 days.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday, the hoteliers said their operational costs had more than doubled since the outage.
They lamented that the rising cost of diesel, the major source of energy used in powering their generating sets, had also not helped matters.
They further said the high taxation by the state government had also impacted negatively on their business.
An operator of Dreams Hotel, who simply gave her name as Mrs Effiom, noted that while some had increased their rates as a result of the biting cost of operation, several others refused to do so for some reasons.
She said that even juggling between using diesel and petrol had not in any way reduced the cost of operation for her.
To tell you how serious this is, many of us have failed to meet the salary obligation to our workers.
"Using 30 litres of diesel every day at N650 per litre is not a joking matter. Before the outage, I used the same 30 liters for three days.
"In addition to the power supply and high cost of diesel, we are also confronted by high taxation imposed on us by the state government.
All these have not in any way been friendly to our operation.
On why some of them have not increased their rates due to the challenges, Thaddeus Ebimaye, manager in one of the hotels, said "it is a function of demand and supply.
It is only one way into Calabar, unlike other cities; it's either you are coming to Calabar or not; the increasing rate at this difficult time will be counter-productive when we are already struggling for patronage before the power outage.
The system some of us have adopted, which still does not make much difference, is to schedule hours or rationalise hours of power supply.
Similarly, Bassey Efiong, who said some of the operators had been crippled with the power outage, expressed sadness over the situation.
He said many would likely leave the business if the situation was not remedied.
It is exactly 49 days since the power supply to the city was cut off following the vandalism of the transmission line to Calabar from Itu Power Station.
Meanwhile, Collins Igwe, the regional manager of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, has called for calm.
He said the power distribution company was making efforts to restore power to the city.
A team of engineers was working hard to repair the vandalised line, he said.