The high cost of petrol is also making it hard for businesses to stay afloat

Incessant power outages and fuel scarcity caused by the strike embarked upon by petrol tanker drivers in Akwa Ibom state have pushed up the prices of petrol and kerosene in Eket and its environs.

Petrol and kerosene reportedly sell for about N200 per litre in Akwa Ibom, a development that has adversely affected economic activities in parts of the state, especially Eket.

Another proprietor of a business centre on Eket-Oron road, Effiong Samuel, said business had been at a standstill, following the power outages and high cost of fuel in the past two weeks.

“We have been hoping that the power situation would improve in a few days but it has persisted and the high cost of petrol has also worsened things,” he said.

“At N200 per litre of petrol, how can we make photocopy and break even? We used to charge N10 per copy when we bought petrol at N97, how then can we increase it?”

Although power has been an issue of national concern but the Akwa ibom case may have been aggravated by the collapse of the Ibom Power Plant operated by the Akwa Ibom state Government.

Offiong Itabong, the Public Relations Officer at the Eket Business Unit of the PHCN, lamented that the company was facing limited energy supply from the national grid.

He appealed to residents of the city to bear with the PHCN management as it works to restore normalcy in electricity supply.

“You will observe that until very recently we were having stability but there was a sharp drop in supply because we now depend on supply from the national grid,” Itabong said.

“We hope to overcome these challenges shortly and we seek the understanding of our numerous customers in Eket district.”

The power outage seemed ill-timed as it is accompanied by petrol tanker drivers in the state embarking on a strike.

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