May 21, 2024
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How Epileptic Power Supply Crippling Businesses in Nigeria

As epileptic power supply continues to plague communities across Nigeria, residents are facing dire consequences that extend far beyond inconvenience. From declining business activities to health hazards and financial strain, the impact of persistent blackouts is taking a heavy toll on livelihoods and well-being.

Energy Afrique gathered that businesses across the Northern part of the country are feeling the pinch of the erratic power supply, as frequent blackouts disrupt operations and undermine productivity. From small-scale enterprises to large corporations, the inability to rely on a consistent electricity supply poses a significant challenge.

They were particularly facing disruptions in production schedules, loss of perishable goods, and increased operating costs from reliance on alternative power sources like generators.

Local Business Owners Lament

In Bauchi state, Muhammed Ishaq, a shop owner, bemoans the crippling effect of power shortages on his business. With insufficient electricity to cool his drinks, customers are turning away, leading to a decline in daily earnings. Similarly, Alhassan Ibrahim, a sachet water seller, laments the dwindling patronage as the lack of cold water renders his product unsellable to young hawkers.

The combination of scorching heat and erratic power supply compounds the hardships faced by residents in the state. Many, like Yaya Bello, are forced to sleep outside to escape the unbearable temperatures exacerbated by the lack of cooling devices. Mary Azi recounts the near-tragic incident of a neighbor being bitten by a snake due to sleeping outdoors, underscoring the urgent need for stable electricity.

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In Gombe state, the scarcity of electricity has exacerbated water shortages, compelling residents to resort to expensive alternatives. Mrs. Abel recounts the burden of purchasing water at exorbitant prices, while Aishatu Ibrahim highlights the struggle to access water for basic needs amidst the blackout. Even businesses like Bello’s charging shop face challenges, as increased demand for phone charging competes with rising fuel costs.

In Jigawa State, communities endure mere hours of electricity daily, leading to food spoilage, water scarcity, and economic strain. Residents like Yahaya Malanta express frustration at the insufficient power supply, which hampers daily activities and business operations. Hauwa Sani laments the impact on food preservation, as frequent outages render freezers ineffective, resulting in spoiled food and financial losses for households.

The situation in Kano metropolitan areas also mirrors the plight of other states, with businesses and households grappling with uncertainty and hardship. Ali Ibrahim, an ice block vendor, encapsulates the frustration felt by many, as increased electricity tariffs coincide with prolonged blackouts, leaving businesses in darkness.

Across Bauchi and Gombe states, the Jos Electricity Distribution (JED) has attributed the power outages to the vandalization of vital transmission infrastructure. This act of sabotage has forced JED to resort to load shedding, leaving residents with only a few hours of electricity each day. Despite apologies from JED and assurances of restoration once repairs are completed, communities continue to grapple with the consequences.

Increased Tariff with Decreased Supply

Energy Afrique earlier reported that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) mandated customers with a daily supply of a minimum of 20 hours to pay N225 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

Customers on other bands continued to suffer epileptic power supply following the decision that many Nigerians criticised.

However, a few days later, the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) announced a reduction in the electricity tariff for Band A customers.

It said that Band A customers will now pay N206.80 per kWh, effective May 6, 2024.

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