by Badejo Oluwaseun
Some residents of Gowon Estate in the Egbeda area of Lagos State on Wednesday blamed irregular electricity supply for their health problems, including heat rash affecting mostly their children.
The residents said that their children were suffering from heat rash as a result of a prolonged power outage. They said that power distribution companies were supposed to wear a `human face’ to make power more available during hot weather. They, however, appealed to the electricity distribution companies, particularly Ikeja Electric (IE) Plc to intervene by boosting power supply to the estate.
Mr. Adeyinke Adeola, a resident, said that power was usually restored for between two to three hours in the early part of the day when the residents would have gone to work and interrupted for the rest of the day. Adeola said that the harsh weather had left some residents of the estate with heat rash. A former Chairman, Community Development Association (CDA) in the area, Mr. Nathaniel Okoro, said that before now, IE could supply power for 12 hours a day, saying that consumers were able to establish a routine for themselves. “Now the situation is horrifying. You get one hour or at best two hours at a stretch which distorts one’s routine. There is no specific time or pattern as to when to expect power supply, making it difficult for residents to plan usage of the power supplied. It is that bad,’’ he said. Okoro lamented that the officials attached to the Akowonjo Business Unit were not responsive to the plight of the residents of the estate. He, however, decried the inability of IE to supply electricity to residents.
Another resident, Mr. Tony Coker, said that the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) and the Generating Companies (GENCOs) did not care about the plight of residents because they enjoyed a monopoly of power generation and distribution which must change. “These DISCOs and GENCOs should be abolished and the Federal Government should break the monopoly of the power sector. In Gowon Estate, for instance, electricity supply has collapsed; it is restored at their discretion. People with prepaid meters are not given power supply; power is supplied to those that have post-paid meters. Why? So, that at the end of the month, estimated bills will be served to them,’’ he said.
Ikeja Electric in a message to customers in the estate said: “Dear Customer, the current supply interruption is due to cable fault on Kuwait 11kv Distribution Transformer supplying your vicinity. “Our Engineers are currently working to resolve this. Please be assured that the supply will be restored as soon as the maintenance is completed. Thank you for allowing us to serve you.’’