*Improved power boosts business in Kaduna
31 August 2013, Abuja – Kano is one of the states in the federation that is groaning under epileptic power supply . According to statistics made available by manufacturers, the Ministry of Power was supposed to supply Kano zone that comprises Katsina, Jigawa , Kano and Niger Republic with 8 percent of the total power generation based on distribution formula, but what was being handed to the zone was just 3 percent.
The National Vice President of the Association, North West zone, Alhaji Ali Safiyanu Madugu told reporters in Kano that “discriminatory sharing of power to the state has led to the closure of 400 industries over the last 20 years with its attendant social consequence.”
Alhaji Ali Safiyanu Madugu stated that “this culture of discrimination has robbed Kano its status as the hub of industrialists”, stressing that “property owning class no longer consider it worthy to invest here because of the rising cost of energy”.
Ali Safiyanu Madugu stressed that “this flagrant violation of power sharing policy to a city next to Lagos in terms of industrial development tend to expose a hidden agenda by those on the position of power to weaken the economic base of the commercial nerve centre of the north.”
He maintained that the likely implication of this unpopular policy would breed social unrest among army of unemployed youth, calling on respective State governors in the zone to adopt a common stand to resolve the energy crisis.
He also noted that Kano would have done great if the 8 percent of the total allocation due to the state was properly made as it was stipulated in the power sharing policy, adding that the Ministry of Power is yet to resolve the impasse hovering around the distribution system as applicable to other zones across the country.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria therefore called on Kano State government to expedite activities on 35megawatt Tiga/Challawa Gorge dam hydro power as alternative and checks to the current “discriminatory practices”.
From ordinary citizens of the state, there has been a mass rejection of PHCN bills in the light of power shortage. Most respondents queried why they should pay for power that is non existent.
Improved power boosting businesses in Kaduna
Checks revealed that the power situation in Kaduna has remarkably improved since July. This has also rubbed off positively on small and medium- scale businesses in the town and environs, findings by our Kaduna Correspondent showed.
According to the Kaduna Power Supply Company, an arm of the PHCN, Kaduna received on the average, about 84 megawatts of power daily, over the 36MW it had been receiving last year.
Also, about 500 transformers of various grades have been installed in the past five months to boost distribution. According to Mr Bulus Yashim, the Manager, New Wonder Hotel, in Kudenda, a suburb of Kaduna, there is huge relief from the development.
“I usually use about three drums of diesel every week. But now, I barely use one because the electricity situation has so much improved. Last week, we even gave good discounts to our lodging guests, since we no longer spend that much again. We get an average of about 19 to 20 hours of electricity each day. Our laundry section has bounced back and we are doing good business here. The only complaint is that the cost of power has gone up, but is far better than diesel”, he said.
Mrs. Kafayat Ahmed, who runs a hair saloon was also happy about the development. “Three months ago, I had to buy an extra-generator to support the old one. Light was coming in half current and just for about four hours a day. But now, I have full light for at least through out the day. In fact, because of the way light has improved, many people are coming and I had to hire two more hands. I thank God that PHCN has changed,” she said.
*AbdulSalam Muhammad & Luka Binniyat, Vanguard