Home Chores, Small Businesses Suffer
WHILE the poor state of electricity in the country continues to take its toll on big and medium scale industries as they cannot power their machines to drive industrial processes, small scale businesses and homes continue to be bogged down by the epileptic or absence of electricity supply.
There are various faces of the difficulties associated with this quagmire. A chore like ironing can no longer be undertaken with electricity, food preservation and some work that require the use of electricity suffer.
For many home keepers, food preservation is hindered as what can be ordinarily stored in the refrigerator perishes in a short period.
Buying perishable food items in bulk, which can save cost, energy and time can no longer be achieved. A housewife, Mrs. Abigail Ajayi said: “In the Ikeja area of Lagos where I live, we hardly see electricity.
Some days when I come back from my business place, I will hear that they gave us electricity in the afternoon for two hours.
Before electricity supply became erratic in the country, I used to buy foodstuffs and I will cook during weekends and put in the fridge but with the present situation I no longer do that.”
A resident of Isolo, Lagos, Gilbert Oko who works in the Oshodi area lamented that his area is supplied electricity while he is at work but lamented that it goes off all the night when he is at home. As a result, he has resorted to using his disused electric iron which he converted to stove iron. He complained that using it wastes a lot of time as he has to heat it frequently.
A fashion designer at Ikeja, Dom Itata, was in his workshop reclining on two-seater sofa in the workshop when this reporter visited him. By the entrance was unlit kerosene stove.
He noted that his work involves a lot of ironing – from cutting fabrics to sewing them. He narrated that the place used to have power supply intermittently, which was what he had been used to. But all that has changed for the worse. He said: “These days, there is no power supply at all in my area. When they give us, it does not last more than two hours.
So, I use generator whenever I want to iron. “Look at this stove at the entrance (pointing to the stove by the entrance), my apprentice brought it this morning because she has seen that we are no longer working because of absence of electricity.
But I will not go back to stove iron. Imagine, this place is already hot because of the hot weather; by the time you light the stove and place it by the door because you want to heat the iron, you can imagine how hot the entire workshop will be.”
A welder in the Ojokoro area in Lagos, Mr. Boye Obilana, is disenchanted about the electricity supply in the area that he did not want to engage in any discussion about the issue because according to him, ”it is a matter in Nigeria that has defied any solution.”
An Ogba resident, Mrs. Nina Peters said that the situation is worsening considering that the people are now being given their monthly bill even without the pretending to be giving electricity as was the practice.
According to her, from the 20th of every month when they will distribute the bill, the area will witness power supply up to the first week of the following month when they are expected to pay or they are disconnected.
“We can see that the power situation is getting worse. What we are witnessing now is that there is no power supply but they have brought the bill this week.
For a dry cleaner, Amah Dike, in the absence of electricity, which he said “I am not optimistic that we are getting over this issue of electricity any time soon,” Stove iron is completely out of it for him because what “I’m dealing with clients.So, I cannot gamble with staining or any other thing associated with stove iron.” He said he uses generator when he can afford to do so.
Investigation, however, has shown that people are making do with stove and charcoal iron in the face of erratic supply of electricity. At Oshodi market, a dealer confirmed that the sale of these products has increased.
“Where is electricity?” she queried. You can see yourself that people are buying stove iron. There are imported ones and locally fabricated ones in various sizes and colour. With N1, 300 you can get a charcoal iron, and the stove iron costs between N800 and N1000.”