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Poor power supply killing Delta hospitality industry – Stakeholders

Hospitality Industry in Delta State Under Threat Due to Power Crisis

Major stakeholders in the hospitality sector across Delta State have sounded the alarm over the crippling effects of erratic power supply, particularly in areas such as Uvwie, Warri, Sapele, Ughelli, and Udu. According to these stakeholders, the continuous power outages are severely impacting businesses in the region and have been attributed to what they describe as “power racketeering” among officials of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).

These stakeholders allege that certain individuals within TCN and BEDC have been diverting electricity meant for commercial areas to residential areas in exchange for financial gain, exacerbating the challenges faced by businesses already grappling with unreliable power supply. In light of this, they have called upon the Delta State government to intervene urgently by holding the managements of TCN and BEDC accountable and ensuring consistent electricity supply to business districts.

Alternatively, the stakeholders have urged the government to explore proactive measures such as providing alternative power sources, similar to initiatives implemented in Aba, Abia State. Speaking on behalf of the stakeholders during a press briefing in Warri, Mr. Austin Wareyai, the CEO and chairman of Lascurt International Hotel in Uvwie, expressed deep concern over the dire consequences of the power crisis on businesses in the region.

Wareyai highlighted the drastic reduction in electricity supply, with dedicated power lines for hotels and industries now experiencing only six hours or less of electricity daily, compared to the previous 18 hours. He emphasized the heavy reliance on diesel generators to keep businesses operational, resulting in exorbitant operational costs and financial strain on hoteliers.

Furthermore, Wareyai raised alarm over the escalating debt burden faced by hotels due to inflated electricity bills from distribution companies, compounding the financial woes of the hospitality industry. He warned of the imminent collapse of many hotels and the associated implications for employment and security within the state.

In conclusion, the stakeholders stressed the urgent need for government intervention to address the power crisis plaguing the hospitality sector in Delta State. They underscored the critical role of the industry as a major employer of labor and called for immediate action to mitigate the adverse effects of the power crisis on businesses and livelihoods in the region.

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