Business owners in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State, especially, those in Okujagu-Ama Community, have cried out over the perennial power outage that seems unresolvable, saying it is forcing them to shut down their businesses.

In separate interviews with Kristina Reports, some of the business owners in Okujagu-Ama Community lamented over the effect of the blackout that has lasted for years and how it was forcing them out of business.

Newton Hillary

One of them, Newton Hillary, a business owner in Okujagu told Kristina Reports on Friday, June 5, 2024 that the issue has made so many people stay out of business, recalling that while he was still an upcoming entrepreneur, the situation was not as despicable as it is now some years back.

“There are some businesses I would have loved to engage in as a youth, that’s my personal businesses that I would have love to engage in; also to make availability for jobs but such things can’t work without light.

“Like I know that I like doing dry cleaning and I can’t just start dry cleaning with the cost of fuel. Fuel is almost N800, so, even imagine when fuel was N150 and all that it was not so easy.”

Hillary also mentioned that the students are not left out in the suffering as they go to school looking unkempt since they cannot iron their uniforms, stressing that worse still is the fact that they get punished for appearing that way.

“When I was tender, I was 2020, when I was going to Amadi-Ama Secondary School, I know the way it is. I don’t iron my clothes. Sometimes, I take it to school and the teachers, some of them without knowing the reason, will discipline you.

“The scarcity, the none availability of light in Okujagu is affecting both the teenagers, and the children because they can’t do anything. They can’t just fit in seriously.

“But if there’s light you will see things changing. You will see how people develop themselves with skills. You will see how people come up with events and all that to accommodate themselves and to build up their capacities.

“So the absence of light in the community is too much, even if we have street lights that’s not enough we need lights in our rooms.”

Another business person, who only identified herself as Fidelia, told Kristina Reports that the situation does not just affect businesses but lives in general.


She related to Kristina Reports how she strives to get ice just to make her drinks cold and considering the transport fares which takes a toll on her as she finds it difficult to get the profits.

“We go outside there to buy ice block and one N400. If there’s light, we could have not done such a thing but now we pay transport to go to buy ice block. We go to Abuloma to look for ice blocks. By the time we know we have spent much money and when we come back we cannot sell anything tangible.”

“But if there’s light now as up land is selling N100, we will sell N100 equally with them. But, so far, there’s no light that’s why we have all this pains all around.”

She lamented that the lack of electricity is now having mental and emotional toll on the people as it is affecting their mood, as well as the education of the children in the community.

“Even in our churches, it has affected us because sometimes you will be in sad mood, when you go to church and sometimes they are playing the drums you see yourself dancing and all those things will just go away from you. You will be strong when you come to the house.”

“But this time nothing and it is affecting the children too; they can’t go to the library and read because now if you give them torchlight or ordinary lantern to read with it will affect their eyes.

“So, if there is light now the children will be able to read even if it is one or two the parents can wake, and wake them up to read as well but now nothing, we cannot iron, we cannot read we cannot do anything tangible.”

“Even in the school is affecting them they cannot operate their computers if there is no generator so that’s why we need light”.

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