The relationship between Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company and the residents of Mafoluku in Oshodi Local Government Area has continued to worsen following accusations and counter-accusations from both parties.
For over six months, there has been bad blood between the residents and the company. The residents have accused officials of the company of a number of things, including extortion, excessive billing, incessant blackout and failure to provide prepaid meters. After holding series of protests, which have done little, if any, to improve the situation, the residents have sworn to stop the payment of electricity bills till the situation improves.
Meanwhile, the company has also accused the residents of assaulting its officials on duty. Recently, the company shut down an injection substation in the area for a few days, saying it needed to protect the facility from vandalism by some of the residents.
A resident, Damola Oguntade, who wrote to Power Talkback, said the problem with the two disgruntled parties was not exaggerated.
“The trouble has been on for a while and it’s getting messier. We hardly have power supply but the IKEDC officials come with ridiculous bills at the end of every month. Many of us have paid for prepaid meters but the company has refused to give out meters so that they can continue to extort residents. We have held several protests but it has not produced any significant improvement,” he said.
Another resident, Funmi Olubayo, said the poor power supply in the area has been affecting business owners and their businesses. Olubayo also said that the community has been contributing money to repair damaged IKEDC installations like transformers, electric poles and cables.
She said, “Electricity is very important to businesses, so we need more power supply. We are tired of living in darkness in this day and age. We residents usually contribute to fix problems with electrical equipment in the community. When the transformer is damaged, we contribute to fix it. There is no limit to what we do to ensure that we have regular electricity but the company keeps disappointing us.”
In a phone conversation with Power Talkback, the Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs, IKEDC, Pekun Adeyanju, appealed to the residents of Mafoluku to be patient with the company.
“We have told them that we will commence metering by the end of the year. The issue of poor power is not peculiar to Mafoluku area, so it’s not deliberate. We have explained all these things to them and we want them to be patient with us. Between November 2013 that we took over and now, we have got a daily average of 350MW as against the required 1,200MW. Once there is improvement in power generation, there will automatically be improvement in power supply.”