After 44 days of total blackout electricity was restored to my area on Tuesday February 17, 2015. The last time we had semblance of power was January 4, 2015.
Oridnarily, residents should be thankful and jubilant. But jubilation is not in order, and thanking Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) would be akin to showering encomium on daylight robbers.
We spent 2014 on power rationing. We paid fully and handsomely for power that was supplied on ‘one-day-on, one-day-off’ basis. And power supply on our ‘on day’ was never a given. IBEDC may not supply us at all. Or supply for just few hours.
Mathematically, total supply in 2014 will be around 30 to 40%. And we paid for 100% power supply. IBEDC will never forget to serve you bill, but can forget to supply you what you paid for. It was a robbery, encouraged and abetted by the Federal Government.
The robbery is perfected by lack of prepaid metre. You cannot determine what you use. Arbitrary billing is rife.
A new dilemma surfaced after we got power restored on Tuesday. (I used ‘we’ because it was the residents that singlehandedly worked through taxing ourselves to restore power).
In fact, plan had been concluded to contribute N300,000 (three hundred thousand naira) to repair the defective IBEDC power transformer. We eventually contributed less. We contributed money for transportation, ‘palm-greasing’ and other logistics for installation. Nothing goes for free in Nigeria.
A transformer in an area was replaced and we begged to have the replaced transformer installed in our area. So we are now surviving on a transformer deemed not fit.
Expectedly, this old and spent transformer cannot give us the needed succour. The solution is to switch it off at 6pm on our ‘on day’. Remember, IBEDC don’t supply us electricity everyday.
Today is our ‘on day’. But we have had electricity supply for up to 10 times today alone. Reason is because it is not stable. It seems whoever is in the control room has itchy hands.
As I write, electricity has been off for over 2 hours straight. And today is our ‘on-day’. Next supply will be Monday, except there is a miracle.
I wouldn’t be angry it this is not a privatised power company. It is nauseating to be paying to private pockets for nothing.
The Federal Government who ought to regulate and stop this blatant robbery is again living to its name as a corrupt, inefficient, incompetent, clueless government.
It is bad enough when a government cannot provide basic amenities for tax-paying citizens. It is just unfathomable when the same incompetent government use and allow proxy companies to cheat its citizens.
PS: Thanks to Pastor Okunola and others who worked tirelessly for what we achieved so far.
Femi Olabisi is on Twitter: @Femiolas