The hydra-headed problems of the power sector and the worsening state of electricity in its network areas. From reports, the generation capacity has dropped from 3,959MW to 2,662MW and this is attributed to the low water levels at the hydro power stations and shortage of gas to the power plants due to vandalism.
The Ikeja Electric (IE) station supply fluctuates depending on the supply gotten. There are times the station gets between 300MW and 400MW while there was a time it remained at 200MW for some reasonable length of time. It is not stable. Ordinarily, Ikeja requires about 1,250MW to service its customers but recently, the station has received an average of barely 300MW. That is such a huge disparity.
The reason for most complaints is because Ikeja is the largest power network, in terms of consumer base. A large percentage of industries in Nigeria are under its network and the station has fast developing areas also under its network. Ikeja power distribution area stretches from Epe to Ikorodu all the way to Akute, Abule Egba and beyond. These are fast developing areas.
It is almost impossible not to have challenges coming up because there are properties springing up on a daily basis in these locations. And this means that IE will have to make additional expansion to accommodate the requirements of the newcomers. As the requirements increase, the allocation has not increased IE must distribute the supply equitably. So it must expand its network infrastructure to meet the needs of customers.
Added to that, there is an increasing spate of violence against IE workers. It is appalling and becoming alarming, and totally unacceptable. On a frequent basis, IE field staff are attacked by aggrieved customers. Only some days ago, the Civil Defense authorities apprehended a woman who stabbed one of IE workers.
It is pertinent to note that IE has created several channels for aggrieved customers to present their complaints, but to vent their anger on IE workers is criminal. Some of the issues they are complaining about are beyond IE’s control. For instance, there is poor power supply, which is as a result of certain known challenges that cut across the value chain and power stations are the last arm of the chain. These challenges are beyond their control, there is no point directing anger at any of IE staff because they are also customers of a network where they reside.
This can be seen as misdirected aggression because power supply stations can only give what they get. Customers should learn to exercise patience and restraint. Anybody that attacks power company staff will face the full wrath of the law. Community leaders are also encouraged to sensitise their people towards this.
Another issue is to battle with vandalism, which is also rife in some areas under IE’s network. Vandals destroy IE’s equipment and cart them away, which require huge amount of money to fix. The company is appealing to communities to ensure that they guard and secure these infrastructures in their respective areas so as to keep them away from vandals.