By Etuka Sunday
Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose yesterday paid an unscheduled visit to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)’s headquarters, Abuja, demanding an explanation for the poor power situation in his state.
Fayose said that the situation was so unbearable that angry residents took to the streets to protest the neglect by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company.
The Governor while demanding for an explanation from the commission, the governor was told that the Benin Disco and the Transmission Company of Nigeria were responsible for the blackout and that engineers from the TCN were on ground trying to address the situation. An official of Benin Disco, in response to the governor’s demands, said he was had not been informed of the protest by angry residents, although he was aware that power situation in Ekiti was bad. Surprised by the official’s statements, Fayose immediately turned to him and said, “I was there when they called Benin (Electricity Distribution Company) because it was a bad situation and your people were beaten up at some point and your office vandalised. “And they (angry mob) were moving from one community to the other if not for my intervention. So if you have not been briefed then it is
unfortunate. It is very unfortunate because they shut down the whole state for more than half a day.”
In a bid to defend his firm, the official explained that the power disruption was a result of the failure of the TCN, as this was affecting many parts of the state.
“The TCN failure is affecting Akure, Ondo and Ekiti and that is more of a general problem,” the official who pleaded not to be named, said.
The governor also noted that it was worrisome to still have poor power supply one year after the sector was privatised, stressing that without adequate electricity, “the essence of privatisation will be defeated.”
He called on the commission and the management of Benin Disco to urgently fix the power problem in his state as residents of Ekiti would anticipate swift improvement owing to the fact that their governor visited NERC to tender complaints.
“This is not a joke and that is why it should be done ASAP because if we leave this matter hanging it portends great danger,” Fayose added. The commission, however, explained to the governor that it would be necessary to rehabilitate two other lines that supply power to Ekiti instead of depending solely on one power line.
The NERC’s Chairman, Dr. Sam Amadi however advised that the state government and the Benin Disco should work together to see how to revive the abandoned power lines in order to boost supply in the affected communities.