Kwara communities lament over 18-month blackout

Residents of no fewer than seven Communities in Ilorin East Local Government Area of Kwara State are groaning over incessant power blackout which has affected the area for more than 18 months.

The affected communities included Oke-Oyi, the headquarters of Ilorin East local council, Agbeyangi, Oke-Ose, Panada, Badi, Adelu and Oloro in the council area.

According to the chairman of the Oke-Oyi Community Development Association, Alhaji Ahmed Seriki, the communities have been experiencing power failure in the last one and a half years.

He however called on Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company to restore electricity to the area after 18 months of power outage.

Speaking in an interview with one of our correspondents in Ilorin on Monday, Seriki decried the situation and appealed to IBEDC to urgently address the issue.

The situation, he said, had adversely affected commercial activities in the area, amidst prevailing economic hardship.

“We have made several visits to Babaoko, Sango, and Challenge offices of IBEDC in Ilorin and they told us to buy Cables and we contributed N500,000, but we didn’t see any positive result. We have been in a blackout in our area for almost two years now,” he lamented.

He said, “Many business people relocated to other towns, while those that could not are languishing in abject poverty.

“We urge the appropriate authorities, particularly the state Governor and the IBEDC, to restore the power outage in the town. The power outage has paralysed socio-economic activities in this community,” Seriki said.

Similarly, the secretary of the association, Jamiu Oladokun, explained there was a time when the community bought cables to help restore electricity.

But Mr Oladokun said the effort yielded no desired result.

“All the hospitals in Oke-Oyi are complaining about the huge amount of diesel and petrol they buy to power their generators and other necessary equipment. We have made several meetings with the IBEDC officials at Baboko and Sango in Ilorin, to the extent that we contributed money to procure the damaged materials, yet it was fruitless,” he said.

The secretary described the situation as unbearable for residents.

A resident, Jimoh Yewande, appealed to the authorities to save them as it is easy for criminals to operate in darkness.

When contacted, Olori Busolami Tunwase, Corporate Affairs Manager of IBEDC told Punch that the organisation would investigate the nature of the fault that affected the electricity supply in the area.

“If the people of the communities have reported in our office, we will investigate the nature of the faults to know what is really wrong and we will correct the faults and restore electricity to the area,” she said.

(Punch)

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IBEDC customers lament inability to vend electricity

Prepaid metre users, who are residents of Osogbo, Osun State, have raised an alarm over their inability to vend for electricity from the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, IBEDC.

Their complaint is over their inability to vend from their phones.

They also complained that at the nearest office of the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, IBEDC, they were being referred to the regional office located at the Station Road area of the State.

Meanwhile, the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, IBEDC, has revealed that the pressure on the system by customers vending to beat the deadline for rollover of their prepaid metres is responsible for the downtime.

A customer, Adeyemi Sherifat Bose stated that she was compelled to go to the IBEDC regional office at Station Road, Osogbo to vend for electricity.

“Before today, I used to vend online. But for days now, it has been difficult doing that. I was running low on electricity and in order not to be in darkness at the end of the day, I went to the Ogo-Oluwa office but was told there was no network that I should proceed to Station Road.

“On getting to the Station Road Office, I met a crowd who all came for the same purpose, to purchase electricity.

“I was number 58 on the line that exceeded 200 persons,” she lamented.

Another customer, Olajumoke Moses stated that she has been in darkness for the last three days without any hope of recharging her prepaid metre.

“It is my husband that recharges for me but he is not based in Osun. He has been telling me that it has become difficult for him to vend for me.

“He said he has been on it for days and it has been having network issues,” she said.

Some residents have speculated that what they were going through could be a deliberate ploy by IBEDC to eliminate online purchasing by its customers.

“They want to eliminate the middle man. They want all of us to be vending from their offices. In this day and age of technological advances, IBEDC is going back,” one of the customers said.

An online vendor, Olajumoke Anu said she had stopped vending for her customers.

She said, “On many occasions, my account will be debited and no token will be sent. When I discovered that it was recurring, I stopped that part of my business until IBEDC sorts itself out.”

Reacting to the development, the Lead, Media Relations of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, IBEDC, Busolami Tunwase told DAILY POST that the problem may have arisen as a result of downtime on the system.

“Intermittently, there could be downtime but it doesn’t last for long. I think the pressure really is just the phobia of people getting cut off before the rollover date.

“The rollover date is in November and everybody trying to vend at once is the problem. We keep explaining to customers that we are here to attend to them so they don’t really need to stress themselves.

“They can go to our website and get the token. We observed that most people who want to vend also want to obtain a token.

“We have made available various options for them. They can vend and get the token. They can go to the website and get the token, they can also walk into our office and get the token. Customers aiming to vend and get the token have made the system to be under strain.

“That is why we made provisions for our staff to be at the office on weekends to attend to customers.

“We appeal to our customers that the cutoff time is still November. There is no need to rush.”

(Daily Post)

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