Operators of mobile phone charging outlets are smiling home as poor electricity supply continues.
The inadequate supply of electricity in most parts of the country might have crippled a lot of Nigerians businesses, but the mobile phone battery chargers in Kafanchan, Kaduna State, have wide smiles on their faces as their business thrives on the electricity supply crisis in the area.
In Kafanchan, supply of electricity by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, has for a long time been very erratic. The residents have resorted to the use of private power generating sets for their homes and businesses.
Residents who cannot afford private generators rely on the operators of cell phone battery charging business to charge their handsets.
“The unstable power situation in the area has forced cell phone users to turn to us for the way out,” Ayuba Tanko, who runs such business around the Cowbel Junction in the town said. “For the past three years I have been in the business, it has been lucrative enough to cater for my personal and family needs. It has given me the opportunity to send two of my children through primary school”.
Mr. Tanko said he collects N50 to charge one battery and realises an average of N1,000 and N1,500 daily.
“The only cost I bear is the fuel I buy to power the generator and service it when necessary. Again, the good thing is that I do not pay rent since I conduct the business in my residence,’’ he said.
Another mobile phone charging business owner, Sarah Ango, said she sometimes referred her customers to other places due to high patronage. Ms. Ango said she sometimes does not have enough charging outlets to take care of the number of batteries they bring for charging.
“Not everyone can afford a generator, as such, phone owners conveniently patronise us,’’ she said. “Where one has stayed for several days without electricity, it makes economic sense for the people to pay for their phone batteries to be charged, particularly as most people cannot afford to do without the use of phones in their daily businesses.”
Ms. Ango said with the business, she had sponsored herself through secondary school and is now studying at the College of Education in Kafanchan. With an average of N800 and N1,000 daily from the business, Ms. Ango can meet her basic needs.
“I don’t depend on my husband for my personal needs,’’ she said.
A student, Sunday Ibrahim, said he patronises commercial operators because electricity supply from PHCN has not always been dependable.
“It does not cost me much to use N50 to charge my battery than to stay for days without using my phone. Cell phones have become part of our lives that most people cannot afford to stay without using them,’’ he said