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Power Racketeering By TCN, BEDC Officials, Cause Of Epileptic Supply In Uvwie, Warri, Others –Hoteliers



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Major stakeholders in the hospitality business in Delta State have said that power racketeering among officials of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and BEDC Plc was responsible for the epileptic power supply particularly in Uvwie, Warri, Sapele, Ughelli and Udu areas of the state.

They said further that some officials of TCN and BEDC are selling and redistributing power (electricity) meant for business areas in the state to residential areas by the highest bidders.

According to the stakeholders, the situation was crumbling and killing their businesses owing to the epileptic power supply and the high cost of diesel.

The 33 line which is a dedicated power line for businesses such as hotels and industries usually supplies electricity for at least 18 hours but has nose-dived to six hours or even less daily.

In the last four months, the electricity supply around Effurun, Uvwie, Warri, Udu and Sapele cities has significantly dropped and in some cases there is no power for weeks as hotels, manufacturing and other businesses now rely on diesel and fuel to power their businesses.

Speaking on the development and how it affects their businesses on behalf of hoteliers, the Chief Executive Officer and chairman of Lascurt International Hotel in Uvwie, Mr. Austin Wareyai blamed the development on electricity racketeering by officials of TCN.

Wareyai said many hotels are facing threats of collapsing because all of their revenues go into energy (diesel) to power their hotels thereby making it difficult to pay workers’ salaries.

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The Managing Director of Lascurt Hotel also lamented that despite the absence of electricity supply, hoteliers are also battling exorbitant billings by the distribution company.

He called on the Delta State governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, to call the management of TCN and BEDC Plc to order by ensuring that electricity is provided for the people of the state, especially business areas.

The hotelier urged the government to take proactive steps to provide alternative power supply as has been witnessed recently in Aba, Abia State.

“These are very trying times for hospitality industry players and investors because of the power situation in Effurun, other parts Uvwie, Warri, Udu and other major cities including Sapele and Ughelli. The little money we are generating returns to generating power to keep the hotel alive.

“As I speak, many hotels are on the verge of collapsing and some are owing workers over two months salaries. I am spending over N1.5m to buy diesel daily. Nobody makes that kind of money. We have resorted to borrowing to keep our hotels running. How long can we continue this? This is bad. Businesses don’t survive in this kind of harsh environment.

“Government needs to urgently act because the hospitality industry is the highest employer of labour in Delta State. If we can’t pay salaries, it’s a great threat to security in the state because those who are engaged by hoteliers are resigning”, Wareyai added.


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