16th May, 2012
Frozen food sellers in Lagos on Tuesday appealed to the Federal Government to urgently address the problem of epileptic electricity supply to boost their businesses.
The traders, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that the incessant power outages had adversely affected their business operations.
Mrs. Peace Ogbonna, a frozen food seller in shop L23 at Ijora 7up market said that the incessant power outages had cost her a lot in terms of providing alternative power supply.
She said that it cost her at least N4, 000 weekly to buy petrol for the generator she used to power her refrigerators to preserve the stocks.
“This amount is huge for a small business like mine,” she said.
Ogbonna appealed to the PHCN to stop billing consumers based on estimation when they hardly enjoyed electricity supply.
She urged the PHCN to bill consumers based on their consumption, saying that constant power supply would help to grow their businesses.
“I lost of 12 cartons of chicken worth about N80, 000 in the last two months due to poor power supply.
“Government should assist us by making electricity more stable in order to make our businesses thrive better,” she said.
Another trader at the same market, Mr. Tosin Ogunmola of Halleluyah Frozen Foods lamented that the situation had gone from bad to worse.
He said that due to the competitive nature of the business, operators were finding it difficult to increase the prices of their goods, “while the cost of maintaining the cold stores keep on rising.”
Ogunmola said that most times, he found it difficult to increase the prices of his goods in spite of the additional cost incurred on petrol and diesel.
“We cannot increase our prices because we will lose our customers to our competitors, so that is why investors are leaving the business.
“We appeal to the authorities in the power sector to come to our aid and make electricity more stable than what it is at the moment,” he said.
Mr. Raphael Adeoye, the Managing Director of Korede Trading company, a major frozen food dealer lamented that he lost 32 cartons of frozen food worth N192, 000 in March due to power outages.
He urged the Federal Government to develop more interest in assisting the masses by tackling the problem of power supply.
“The problem of power should preoccupy the mind of the government than proposing any tariff increase now.
“Because even the monthly bills we now pay is for electricity we did not consume,” he said.
An official of the Ministry of Power told NAN that the present power outages being witnessed were due to the breakdown in the power system.
The source, who pleaded anonymity, assured that government was doing everything to ensure that the system bounced back.