Wednesday, July 11, 2029
The residents of Kwara state today protested what they call the blatant disregard for their right by Ilorin Electricity Distribution Company (IEDC), over the power company’s decision to interrupt supply of electricity for maintenance purpose. Economic and social activities felt the impact of the protests as no area was left untouched by protesters.
The company, on Monday, July 9, ceased electricity supply for over four hours before notifying its customers of “an emergency maintenance exercise.”
One of the protesters, Mumuni Akanbi said, “I know people that work with them; so I’m informed. They knew they wanted to do the so called maintenance before yesterday but decided to make it look like it was an emergency. We are not fools. How can you take light for 5 good hours?! 5 hours! , when you knew you could have avoided it, and you expect us to keep quiet? No way! These guys are giving us a service we are paying for. They are not doing us any favour. They need us to survive! We are not going to sit back and watch like mumu. This is not 2015!”
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has waded in to calm and assess the situation.
In a Skype® address to a group of protesters, the DG, NERC said, “We are currently carrying out our investigation. If the allegations are found to be true, apart from the legal requirement of compensation, IEDC may lose its license and another company would take over operations.
“Electricity business, like food, medical and education businesses, is highly regulated. The repercussions of failing to serve your customers well is weightier than what obtain in other industries, because it is a central service industry to other industries, and of course, our economy,” said Mrs Arewa Babajide.
The MD of Ilorin Electricity Distribution Company, Mr Gambo Alkali, neither agree to, nor dispute the allegation of negligence. “Well, we are carrying out our own internal audit too. This is something that must not happen considering the quality standards we operate with. But, in the spirit of absolute transparency, I have directed that an investigation be carried out,” said Alkali.
Dr Lasisi Alarape, a former consultant to IEDC opined that the company would have avoided the downtime if it had been diligent to its quality guidelines. He said “They would have been asked to give their customers compensations if they reported the bottleneck before turning off supply. Why? Because NERC would have known it was a result of their negligence. They thought they could finish it in about an hour. If they did, they would have blamed it on transmission-distribution ratio upsurge, and they would have been compensated by their insurers.”
The NERC, Police, and Counter Terrorist Unit have swiftly begun a joint investigation into the matter. This makes it very difficult - if not impossible - for any form of manipulation of facts and evidences to be effected.
To be continued…
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