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Badagry communities decry 18-month power outage

Some Badagry communities of Lagos State on Thursday, decried prolonged power outage of over 18 months in the area by the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC).

Some residents of the communities in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said the outage had paralysed economic and social activities of their communities.

NAN reports that the Badagry communities affected by the outage include Jegba Quarters, Posikoh, Huntoh, Farakoh, Igbaho and Awahjigoh in Badagry Local Government.

Mr Arowolo Lukuman, the Chairman of Electricity Committee of the area, said the outage was due to a fault from their transformer since October 22, 2022.

“We reported the fault to EKEDC’s office in Badagry and Agbara. They asked us to contribute money which we did; after which some technical crew from the Agbara office came to fix the fault but few days later, the transformer exploded again.

“We met their officials at Agbara and Marina on the issue, they told us that the community is owing over N4.5 million to the company, out of which we should pay at least N2.5 million before they can repair it,” he said.

Mr Joseph Gbebe, another landlord in Jegba Quarters, said the residents had met the Chairman of Badagry Local Government, Mr Olusegun Onilude, who promised to buy a new transformer for them.

“But he later changed his mind because the transformer he bought for a community in Badagry had not been energised.

“The official of Eko Disco advised us to collect the money from the council chairman to pay off our debt instead of buying a new transformer.

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“We are in complete darkness but our neighbouring communities have electricity ,” he said.
Mr Kehinde Akapo, a fashion designer at Posikoh, said most of his customers had abandoned him due to the outage.

According to Akapo, he rented his shop in September and the outage began a month later. “I cannot ask the landlord to refund my money. I charge higher than other designers where they have electricity supply, so many of my customers withdrew.

“We are appealing to EKEDC to repair and restore the supply, then we will renegotiate how to pay the debt.

“I wasn’t aware of any debt before I rented my shop, they should consider our plight,” he said.
For Mr Segun Idowu, manager of a cool spot at Marina area of Badagry, he spends close to N40,000 daily to buy petrol to power his generators.

Idowu appealed to the management of EKEDC to fix the transformer and restore supply to communities in the area.

Mrs Iyabode Ashogbon, a landlady at Jegba Quarters said most of her tenants had packed out of her building due to the outage.

Mrs Christiana Emmanuel, a frozen foods seller, said she could no longer continue with the business.
According to her, she now sells liquid soap due to the outage.

She appealed to the electricity company to restore supply to the communities.

When contacted, Mr Segun Kosoko, the Public Relations Officer, Agbara District Office, EKEDC, said electricity consumers under the Palace 1 transformer allegedly owed N20.17 million as of May, 2023 and not N4.5 million.

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According to him, we have held series of meetings with consumers in those communities and told them that for the transformer to be repaired or replaced, they have to pay 60 per cent of what they are owing.

“The management’s directive is that part of the debts should be paid. For the transformer to be repaired, they have to make appreciable payments against their debts in their electricity bills.

“The last payment by residents in those communities was just N38,500 in May 2023,” he said. (NAN)

Raji Rasak
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