By Ray Ugochukwu
The Adewunmi/Omotosho community, Isheri-Osun in the Alimosho Local Government Area, has sent a Save-Our-Soul (SOS) message to the Lagos State government for the power outage that has ravaged the area for over 14 months.
The community made the appeal in a letter dated May 6, 2022, addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Alausa, Ikeja.
According to the community, “The Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company has refused to connect us to the national grid for over 14 months and has subjected us to total blackout with no power supply despite series of application letters of appeal”.
The letter is titled, “Notification for Construction of Rural Electrification/Relief of Transformer Substations in Communities Within Ikeja Electric Network (Ref: IE/COO/CTC/199/2020, Date: Tuesday, June 2, 2020). It was signed by Prof. O.J. Omotosho and Mr. Kingsley Dike, the Chairman and Secretary, respectively.
Explaining their ordeal, the duo in the letter stated that the community was initially connected to the national grid but as the work was poorly executed; they suffered a lot of losses through equipment damage due to low current and frequent power outages and phase failures. They however noted that this was not the same case with other areas connected to the same transformer that enjoyed constant power supply.
Consequently, according to the community, moves were made and the area was listed among the beneficiaries allocated with transformers donated by the Lagos State government with subsequent installation approved by the Ikeja Electric.
The community pointed out that while the installation of the transformer was ongoing, it got approval for the suspension of the area’s account for a duration of two months – May-June, 2021.
Folake Soetan, CEO, Ikeja Electric
It however regretted that since the completion of work on the project, Ikeja Electric has refused to reconnect the area to the national grid, thereby throwing the entire community into perpetual darkness for over 14 months.
The letter read, “We hereby appeal to your good office to intervene on behalf of our dear community, Adewunmi Omotosho CDA, Isheri-Osun, Alimosho, Lagos, since Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company has refused to connect us to the national grid for over 14 months and has subjected us to total blackout with no power supply despite series of application letters of appeal.
“Our community was initially connected to the national grid through a transformer located at Ogo Oluwa Community Development Association (Muhammed Lawal Transformer). The connection was poorly done as our community, together with eight (8) streets, was connected to a unit (up raiser) thereby generating a low current electric power and frequent power outages and phase failures while others on the same transformer enjoyed constant power supply”.
“This challenge has caused a lot of destruction to our household equipment within the community which has led to unaccountable huge losses and eventually, serious pains.
“Due to this challenge, we made moves and our community was enlisted among those the Lagos State Government donated and allocated transformers to. This transformer was installed by the approved contractor from Lagos State Government.
“However, Ikeja Electric approved the installation of the project with an acknowledgement letter dated 20th May, 2020, with Ref: IE/COO/CTC/199/2020”, the letter stated.
The community added, “After the installation by the contractor, the inspection satisfactory report was obtained from the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA), which was issued on 27th October, 2021 in which it was stated that the 1x500KVA, 11/0.415KV distribution substation can be put to use. Ref: NEMSA/TS/TS & 15/OSH/2738/VOL.11/437 (Appendix 3)”.
After all the aforementioned efforts, a resident of the community, Mr. Lucky Enuma, regretted that Ikeja Electric had still refused to attend to the area’s needs thereby keeping them in darkness since Apri 2021; hence their appeal for the state government’s intervention.