Landlords, residents and business owners have lamented being thrwon in darkness for two years due to the lack of power supply in all the communities in the Ogun Waterside Local Government Area of Ogun State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the situation degenerated when vandals, in January 2021, vandalised and stole high-tension cable wires supplying power in various communities in the local government.
A resident in one of the communities, Eniobanke Ayodele, while lamenting over the lack of power supply in the area, said several efforts to get the government and the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company supplying power in the local government to salvage the situation proved abortive.
He said, “From Ojere junction to Orita J4, the high tension wire was carted away by some unknown people. But before the wire was stolen, there had been no power supply, if there was power supply, they wouldn’t have been able to steal the wires.
“Last year, we reported the issue of the vandalism to the state government but nothing had been done till this moment. Everyone has now resorted to using generators and solar panels but you cannot compare those to having the actual electricity.
“How many people can afford these generators? How many can afford to refill it constantly with fuel? To be honest, the issue has actually been going on for more than two years but we just estimated at two years. We feel very hopeless.
“My business requires electricity and now I put on my generator almost every day. We can’t afford to buy those wires back, what we are hoping for is for the distribution company to come to our aid.”
Ayodele said representatives of the distribution company in charge of the LGA had paid a formal visit to the local government after the vandalism but no positive development emanated from the visit.
“Immediately the incident of the stolen wire occurred, the representatives of the electricity distribution company left the area as some of their workers were transferred back to Ijebu-Ode. Some even lost their jobs.
“Since they are no longer here, there is not much we can do. There are no offices around. What we are simply clamouring for is restoration of electricity and enough transformers because some communities don’t have enough transformers.”
Another resident, Adebayo Salami, said the lack of power supply had crippled business activities in the local government area, adding that politicians, despite promising to resolve the situation during campaigns, usually abandoned the LGA after elections.
Salami said, “At a time, we had someone who came to our aid regarding the electricity issue but after he died, things became bad, especially with our stolen wires.
“We don’t know if we will ever see light in our community. The electricity from the distribution source does so much more than these generators that we have been subjected to.“Also, the price of fuel is not the same anymore, and we constantly need to refill our generators. Only the well to do around here can afford solar panels. Most of the businesses in Ogun Waterside have nearly collapsed.”
Speaking with our correspondent, a source in the community said despite the lack of power supply, electricity bills were still being generated for various communities in the LGA.
Our correspondent sighted an electricity bill by the IBEDC dated July 2022.
Contacted, the Spokesperson for the IBEDC, Busolami Tunwase, said an investigation would be conducted regarding the matter.
“When there is an issue like this, an official report needs to be made; it is on the strength of this that we can know if nothing was done. I don’t have the details but now that we are informed, we’ll investigate and find out what the problem is.”
The Chief Press Secretary to the state Governor, Kunle Somorin, did not respond to our correspondent’s calls and a text message regarding the incident as at the time this report was filed.