By Ehigimetor Igbaugba
Calabar, May 11, 2022 Hoteliers in Calabar, Cross River, are lamenting the increasing cost of doing business owing to the power outage that has affected the capital city for 49 days.
In seperate interviews with newsmen on Wednesday, the hoteliers said their operational cost 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 that the high taxation by the state government had also impacted negatively to their business.
An operator of Dreams Hotel, who simply gave her name as Mrs Effiom, noted that while some had increased their rates as oa result of 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 cost of operation for her.
“To tell you how serious this is, many of us have failed to meet with salary obligation to our workers.
“Using 30 liters of diesel everyday at N650 per liter is not a joking matter. Before the outage, I used the same 30 liters for three days.
“In additon 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 anyway been friendly to our operation.
On why some of them have not increased their rates due to the challenges, Mr 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; its either you are coming to Calabar or not; increasing rate at this difficult times 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, Mr Bassey Efiong who said some of operators had been crippled with the power outage, expressed sadness that many would leave the business if the situation was not remedied.
It is exactly 49 days since power supply to the city was cut off following vandalism of the transmission line to Calabar from Itu Power Station.
Meanwhile, Mr Collins Igwe, Regional Manager of Port Hrcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), called for calm as efforts were being made to restore power supply to the city.
He stated that a team of engineers was working hard to put in place the vandalised line that supplied electricity to Calabar