Hoteliers To Lay Off Over 10,000 Workers In Aba Over High Energy Tariff



Over 10,000 hotel workers may lose their jobs in Aba, Abia state over high energy tariff which were announced to be paid by hotels in the city by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).


Issuing this threat in Aba, Chairman of the Hotel Proprietors Association of Aba (HOPAA), Chief Goddy Egbuchulam said if nothing was done to reduce the high energy tariff announced by the EEDC, his members would soon be forced to close shop and sack its over 10, 000 workforce.


Addressing its members during a meeting of the group in Aba, Egbuchulam lamented that it was impossible for her members to pay energy bills based on what he described as excessive tariff coupled with the lack of good roads which has adversely affected hotel business in the city.


“Why would EEDC charge hoteliers in Aba as if they are operating in Lagos or Abuja? Hoteliers in Aba have suffered from lack of patronage due to bad roads. If we don’t get customers, from where does EEDC expect us to get the money and pay such high bills? If we are made to pay this outrageous tariff, the hospitality industry in Aba will not survive it. Every hotelier will lay off her workers and close shop. With the new energy tariff, a hotel that paid N300, 000 previously is being expected to N1.9m per month which he no hotel in Aba can pay and remain in business.”


He added that his members have always depended more on power generating sets with attendant high operating cost, than on EEDC and ought not be charged outrageously.


The HOPPA chairman appealed to the government to wade into the matter to ensure that that the outrageous energy tariff is reversed. According to him, “hoteliers contribute a lot to the economy of the state.  We contribute to the IGR and have over 10, 000 workers in our employ. Government should look into our complaint.”


Recall that EEDC had in a letter with reference number; EEDC/32200/AGM (RCS.23)/02/15/23, dated February 9, 2015 and signed by B.O Igbokwe, informed all hotel proprietors in Aba that with effect  from  February 2015, they were expected to pay  their electricity bills based on the new energy tariff approved by Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC).



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