Members of Lagos State Hotel Owners Association (HOA) have called on the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to put hotels under residential billing system instead of the current commercial billing that the hospitality industry is in.
According to the president of the association, Chief Emmanuel Nzekwe, the reason is because hotels are always the hardest hit in times of economic recessions or pandemics.
He said that since the outbreak of coronavirus pandemics, most hotels in Lagos lost clients, and even at that, the electricity distribution companies have not relented in bringing crazy and unexplainable bills to them at the end of every month.
Nzekwe said that even though they hardly have up to 15 full days of power supply per month, they get bills as high as N8.5m per month.
According to him, it is even now cheaper to run on generator than electricity.
He said for instance, if an owner of a70-room hotel with 300 KVA decides to run exclusively on generator, he would be using 10,000 litres of diesel per week at N2m and in a month 40,000 litres which would amount to N8m.
However, he said if it is on electricity, at the end of the month, the DISCOS would bring bills that ranges from N8.5m and above.
Speaking further, he said that the only challenge with generator is that there is always wears and tears, as well as maintenance.
He said that the only way hotels In Nigeria can survive is to put them under the residential billing system.
According to him, in other climes governments encourage hotels through tax reductions, low electricity tariffs and other incentives because of the major roles they are playing in the employment of labour and promotion of tourism.
His words: “I want to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to come to the aid of hotel owners. The unexplainable bills that they are bringing to us every month is killing our business. Since the outbreak of coronavirus, we have not being any business but still at the end of the month, they will bring bills as high as N8.5m . Some of us have up to 100 staff and this is making payments of salaries very difficult for us. We beg that hotels should be put under residential billing system. That is the only way we can survive in this business.”