Community decries economic loss over poor power supply from IBEDC
Residents of Igbusi Community of Ifo Local Government Area in Ogun state have expressed concerns about the continued poor supply of electricity to the area for over three years, describing the practice as crippling the economy of the area.
According to the residents, the situation over the years has not only affected the efforts of small and medium scale enterprises especially at nights, but also resulted to the migration of some residents from the community to neighbouring communities around Lagos.
Speaking to one of the members of the Area Community Development Committee (ACDA), Akin Ahinfemisoye told The Guardianthat a lot of people have moved out of the community and this has set the community back in terms of development and business growth, adding that almost every form of business has been negatively impacted.
According to him, despite the very poor service, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), whose network area the community falls under, still serves them bills for services not rendered.
“The whole of Igbusi community is in darkness; we are not enjoying electricity, people have resorted to generators and torch lights are the commonest source of light here.”
Akinfemisoye added that in a month, the community receives an average of two to three times supply cumulatively less than two hours sometimes.
He however traced the problem to the start of the post privatization era; claiming that most companies around Sango area enjoy constant power supply.
All the community’s complaints according to him, has proven fruitless, as they have stopped sending their letters of complaints to the Iyana Ilogbo IBEDC office.
In another interaction, one Chisom James, who sells raw food by the main road that leads into the community and other parts, said it was his sixth year occupying that space and can testify that business booms less for him at nights.
“The peak of my business is in the evenings when workers are returning from their daily activities and are planning the next day for the family. I have received fake money because of darkness and sometimes people steal my grains when is dark. Since I don’t have a generator, I resort to lighting up the place with torchlight because I close between 10 and 11 pm.
Chisom who appealed for something to be done revealed that at his shopping complex, businesses have asked for deliberate disconnection because they pay an average of a thousand monthly for what they don’t enjoy, adding that “sometimes they bring light like two times a month and bring bill.”
Meanwhile the Igbusi ACDA Secretary, Adekoya Thomas, disclosed in another interview that the community was planning to stage a protest in some weeks as well as write NERC, since response from the Sango Business unit hasn’t been positive.
He noted that a letter was earlier written to IBEDC headquarters in Ibadan, adding that their promises to improve supply have yet to yield result, especially as about 116 communities are affected by the issue.
“We are tired of hearing ‘bear with us’, when customers around the Lagos Abeokuta expressway close to the Iyana Ilogbo substation enjoy regular supply, and they keep telling us that theirs is power on a straight line and that when our own isolator is shut, it takes about seven to eight days before we can be considered,” Adekoya groaned.
On its part, IBEDC said there are 34 transformers in Ilogbo and Igbusi is just a street in the area, hence, the problem may be peculiar to the transformer, adding that complaints were not channelled to the appropriate quarters.
The IBEDC’s Head of Corporate Communications, Angela Olanrewaju, however admitted that supply to the axis in recent times is not very constant due to faults, which according to her, has been addressed.
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