Less than a week after the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) restored power to a section of oil and gas-rich Warri and its environs, commercial activities have, again, come to a standstill.
It will be recalled that for the better part of January and February, residents of the town reported faulty 1,3,6 PTI Transformer which feeds Warri and environs.
Checks at the weekend revealed that lack of electricity was taking its toll on commercial activities, as well as the well-being of residents.
Residents, who eke a living from micro businesses such as iced-block making/sale, business centres, cold rooms, sachet water, among others, are worst hit.
Residents also complained of rashes and other heat-related infections.
A secondary school student, Great Tejiro, expressed dissatisfaction with the situation, while Mrs Portia Atubi, a business woman, said her children had developed rashes all over their bodies and feared graver health hazards might erupt.
Miss Bukky Atubi, a trader, who lives in Agbassa also lamented the situation, while Mrs Ese Okotie, another trader, averred that the light issue was affecting her soft drinks business.
A civil servant, Mr Sunny Chigonti, threatened to protest if nothing was done urgently.
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of BEDC in Warri, simply identified as Mrs Ogaga, speaking via telephone, said: “we’re trying our best to resolve the fault. The problem is transmission. The 1,3,6 PTI Transformer that is feeding Warri and environs is having problem. They’re working on it.”
For Mrs Happy Jonathan, a rice vendor, the heat at night in homes could be likened to a furnace.
“The light issue don’t tire me ooo; inside house dey hot like say we dey hellfire. Hope government dey hear me oooo WE NEED LIGHT OOOO,” she pleaded.
Even dry cleaners have gradually gone out of business as Mr Ighoyohwo Odjegba, a dry cleaner, who suggested a revolution as the only solution, disclosed that “The light issue is not a two-week occurrence, it has been a repeated decimal.
“Left for me, I would like a revolution to take place in this country. I’m angry because I spend money to buy fuel to do my laundry work and by the end of the day I don’t even see my profit.
“The thing that pains me most is that BEDC will still come to your door post to ask for light bill at the end of the month when we don’t even see the light not to talk of using it.
“The government is not even doing anything about it. If I have the opportunity to park out of this country, I will do it cause I’m so fed up with this country, WE NEED LIGHT!!!!!!!!!” he reiterated.
A businessman, Mr. Onoriode Igbigbi, expressed displeasure on the perennial blackout in Warri and environs.
Speaking in pidgin, Igbigbi said: “There’s nothing to say about this light issue if you look at it all businesses are zero.
“Like my friend who is doing dry cleaning work, there’s no way he can iron clothes that he has washed except with generator and fuel is very cost: so, tell me how can such a person make profit from what he is doing? In fact, I am tired of this country.
“If you go to Ghana, you’ll not experience anything like power failure and I heard that it’s Nigeria that supplies them light. Imagine we are supplying another country light when we don’t even have light!
“Later, we will call ourselves giant of Africa. Nigeria is just like a village. Even in some villages, there is light but when it comes to Nigeria, everything is Zero.
“The thing that pains me most is that the government is not doing anything about it. Because of this light issue, pure water selling business is gradually crumbling because there’s no light to keep the water chilled and there’s heat every where; what everybody needs is something cold but how do we get it when there’s no light?”
Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of BEDC in Warri, simply identified as Mrs Ogaga, while on phone, said “we’re trying our best to resolve the fault. The problem is transmission. The 1,3,6 PTI Transformer that is feeding Warri and environs is having problem. They’re working on it.”