By Raji Rasak
Residents of Badagry, Lagos State have cried out over four years power outage in the coastal town and accused Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) of “total neglect” of the area.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the continuous power outage had paralyzed social and economic activities in the ancient town.
Mr Femi Ilori, a resident of Topo-Badagry, said it was sad that the town had been in darkness since 2014.
“Living in this town is becoming unbearable because there is no hope of getting power supply.
“Since 2014, we have been in darkness in Badagry; former Gov. Raji Fashola promised us during his tenure that he would bring electricity to Badagry.
“The present administration of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode also pledged to restore power supply when he came to launch Light Up Lagos, a rural electrification project, in Badagry.
“In spite of all these promises, we are still in darkness. No electricity supply to do business, no power at home and in office.
“In fact, it seems to me that we are not part of Lagos, if not, why is it that no government has been able to solve our electricity supply challenges,” said the Badagry resident.
He appealed to EKEDC, the electricity distribution company responsible for the area, to restore power to Badagry.
“We are really suffering here due to the total neglect by EKEDC; please give us electricity,” the resident said.
Similarly, Mrs Funke Adeyeye, a frozen food seller at Agbalata International Market, said that the permanent outage had paralyzed business activities in the market.
“Many frozen food sellers have abandoned the business due to lack of power supply to operate.
“Some are now selling vegetables; they ran into a loss because there is no electricity to sustain their frozen foods.
“I am still in the business because I took a loan to buy generating set which I’m using daily to power my business.
“Business is dull due to the outage, traders prefer to travel across Seme border post to buy their frozen food because electricity is constant there and their frozen foods are always fresh.
“This market is supposed to be booming but the lack of power has turned it to ghost market.
“The present government and EKEDC should come to our aid by restoring power to the city,” she said.
Also, Mr Tobi Oke, a landlord at Ajara-Badagry, said that the power equipment in the area was in good condition and decried EKEDC’s refusal to supply power to Badagry.
“Electricity installation and EKEDC equipment in the area are working well, so there is no justification for this outage.
“EKEDC only flashes residents with two hours supply thrice in a month and the next thing you will see is electricity bill of N5,000.
“We do not know what we have done to justify this hardship from EKEDC and Lagos State Government.
“How do you expect the residents to pay for power supply that comes around 2 a.m., when people are already sleeping only thrice in a month.
“We are peaceful and ready to pay for electricity supply, so EKEDC should please restore supply to our community, this hardship is too much,’’ he said.
In his reaction, EKEDC Spokesman, Godwin Idemudia, attributed the outage in Badagry to ongoing Nigeria National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) project by the federal government.
He said that part of the project had been handed over to EKEDC but not completed.
“Meanwhile, the community might still experience outage here and there until all the projects within that area of our network are fully completed.
Idemudia said that EKEDC would step up on timely clearing of faults as they occur in order to increase power supply to Badagry.
“We appeal to our customers within the area to bear with us as all hands are on deck to improve supply to the affected communities,” he said. (NAN)