Blackout cripples commercial activities in Calabar



By Christian Njoku

Many businesses in Calabar and environs have been brought to a halt, following a total power blackout that had lasted since April 8.

The outage, which left Calabar, Odukpani and Akpabuyo Local Government Areas in total darkness, had also made life unbearable to the residents and business owners in these areas.

NAN reports that vandals on March 8 brought down one of the towers belonging to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) which conveyed power from the Ikot Ekpene generating plant to the plant in Adiabo in Calabar.

Mrs Mercy Bassey, a cold-room owner in the Atimbo area of the Calabar, on Friday said that she had packed up her business as it depended on power to survive.

“Our cold-room needs a huge diesel-powered generator to operate; for how long will I sustain that with the cost of diesel at over N700 per litre.

“Right now, I am confused. I don’t know what to do to the workers this month because we have shut down, this is really painful,” she said.

A sachet water seller, popularly known as Jonny, has been rendered redundant as he could no longer sell chilled water which used to be in popular demand.

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Some supermarkets have also begun to feel the negative impact of the power outage.

Parents were not left out in the power outage as Mrs Augustina Moses said she now cooks small dishes that her family can consume in two days against the one week she formerly stored her food in her deep freezer.

“I don’t know where we are going in this country; I now spend more money and time to cook.

“A burglar, through my window net, stole my phone because my daughter was using its torch to do her homework at night and left it on the table beside the window, with the light on. If there was light she wouldn’t be using my phone,” she said.

Speaking on the matter, Mr Collins Igwe, Regional Manager of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), appealed to residents to be patient as they were doing their best to restore power.

“We have mobilised our technical team to support TCN who are the owners of the tower that was vandalized.

“This will reduce the time to re-erect the tower by 60 per cent; we expect power by the end of April,” he said.

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