The discomfort residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, suffer from the deteriorating electricity supply, and the hot weather in the Nigerian capital, has become a boost for sellers of generators, air-conditioners and rechargeable fans in the city and environs.
A random survey conducted by PREMIUM TIMES reporters showed several supermarkets, markets and other outlets in the city and environs have recorded massive sales in these items in recent times.
For several weeks, electricity supply to many parts of Nigeria has been irregular. The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), the company responsible for transmitting generated electricity in the country, said the national power grid has lost more than 1,770 megawatts (MW) since last month.
The TCN said data from the Nigeria Electricity System Operator showed from a peak level of about 4,806.8MW, the country’s electricity generation capacity dropped to about to 2,938.5MW on March 22.
Since then, electricity supply to many parts of the city and its environs dropped below a third of the normal capacity, with the electricity distribution company forced to ration supply to service consumers.
In many areas, residents face the discomfort of going without electricity in the night and the harsh heat of the scourging sun during the day.
Boost In Sales
A businessman who deals in electronic appliances in Area 1 market in Abuja, Emeka Molokwu, told PREMIUM TIMES the unpleasant weather has been a major booster of his business.
“There has been such unprecedented increase in the sales of fans and air conditioners since the weather changed. The poor electricity supply in the city also brought about an increase in the sales of generators.
“So far, for the past five days, the sales have been huge. I think it is because of the electricity problem and the heat condition in town,” he said.
Another businessman, Ifeanyi Okabike, who deals with fans and other electrical equipment, said his sales have improved tremendously in the past two months.
Mr Okabike said most of his customers report they acquire the items to see how to mitigate the effect of the inclement weather condition.
“I sell about 20 pieces of fans daily. The sale figures for my generators have also increased. Most of my customers say they buy these items to be able to have electricity whenever there is power outage by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), and to be able to sleep in the night. I know it is because of the bad weather condition,” he said.
Some of the customers who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES also lamented the situation.
Vincent Okolo, who told our report he just purchased a generator a few days earlier, recounted his experience before the decision to buy the item.
“My wife had stocked the fridge in the house with several perishable food items. Suddenly, NEPA (AEDC) took light (electricity). For almost a week, supply was not restored. All the foodstuffs got spoilt one after the other because of the heat,” he said.
Emeka Okeke who came to buy a rechargeable fan in Wuse Market said the weather is so hot these days that his family can hardly sleep any longer, apart from the impact of the high humidity on their health.
On his choice of a rechargeable fan, he said it was because of irregular supply of electricity in his area.
“I am buying a rechargeable fan so that when there is electricity we can recharge it for use when there is outage by the AEDC. At least this will save my family from the skin rashes we have suffered of late as a result of the hot weather,” he said.