Heavy downpour throws Lagos communities into darkness

Solomon Ezeme

Residents of Mushin, Ladipo, Ijesha, Apapa-Oshodi Express Way, and other communities in Lagos, under the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) network, have been subjected to power outage as a result of heavy downpour in Lagos on Monday.

Some of the residents of the affected Communities claimed that there had been no power prior to the heavy rain while others threatened not to pay the Power Distribution Company (DisCo) if it failed to restore power to their communities on time.

The rain which fell on Monday 18, was reported to have affected Mushin, Ijesha, Apapa-Oshodi Express way, Ladipo, Fatai Atere, Odo Eran, secure ID company and environs.

An electricity consumer in Adesina in Ijeshatedo, Surulere, Smart Duru, said that the transformer in the community was overloaded and so needs to be replaced by a new one, for the power situation in the community to improve.

He also stated that the community will not be ready to pay up outstanding bills if the DisCo does not address the power situation in time.

He said: “There is darkness everywhere in Ijesha. In Adeshina Street, aside the heavy rainfall, the load is too much on the transformer as we have a lot of business men who are dealers in computer and various electronic appliances, especially on that Adeshina road.

“Our transformer is presently carrying businesses and residential homes in about five streets. This is not supposed to be so.

“We need at least one more transformer to reduce the load on this current one. We want to enjoy what we pay for.

“The EKEDC recently brought our electricity bills and gave us only one week to pay, yet we have barely enjoyed two weeks of steady power supply.

“Now the transformer is faulty again. Does it still expect us to pay by Friday?

“If the DisCo doesn’t restore power to us and comes for disconnection on Friday, we won’t pay.”

Mr. Duru also disclosed that many residents of the community now rely on Solar Home Systems, SHS, (stand-alone photovoltaic systems) to power their homes, and may not be interested in using power supplied from the national grid, anytime soon.

“We are fed up with power distribution system. They should come and take its transformer away from our community. We will move to solar soon as most houses here have started purchasing and using solar systems,” he said.

Another consumer, Benjamin Ibe, a resident of Igbojiya in Shapati Town, Ibeju-Lekki, lamented: “What is happening to Shapati? For two months now, there has not been a blink of electricity supply and nobody is saying anything?”

Similarly, Okonkwo Queen Uchechi, a resident of Itelorun-Bethel Street in Itire, complained that the EKEDC has not been able to retore power to the street nearly three months after the community transformer developed faults.

“Since August 8, our transformer got spoilt and since then, there has been no power supplied to us by the Eko DisCo.

This extremely unfair, if after about 3 months since the fault, the DisCo still can’t fix the power situation in Bethel-Itelorun.”

Lawrence Abilawon who lives in Onilegogoro in Surulere area, claimed there was no power supply from the DisCo to the community even before the supposed rain that was believed to have resulted in the power outage.

Lawrence said: “Before it rained, the Onilegogoro transformer that powers houses down the line, from Isolo Road to other places in Mushin, has not been working properly.

“The power supply here is nothing to write home about. So, attributing the power outage to any rainfall is not realistic at all. There was no light before the rain the DisCo claims is the reason for the outage in our community.”

The Eko DisCo has, however, appealed to the affected communities to exercise patience as its team is working to address the challenge and restore power to their communities. It explained the reason for the outage in a public statement communicated on Monday via its social media page.

“Dear customer, the outage being experienced in the Mushin area is due to the heavy rainfall earlier today.

“Affected customers are in Mushin Ijesha, Apapa-Oshodi Express way, Ladipo, Fatai Atere, Odo Eran, secure ID company and environs.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and ask that you bear with us as efforts are ongoing to restore power immediately,” the statement read.

The DisCo also gave public notice of planned power outages that will be taking place in Yaba, Victoria Island, Lagos Island and Ikoyi, effect from Wednesday, 20th October.

In the public notice it gave, it said that areas in Victoria Island, Lagos Island and Ikoyi will be affected due to plans by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to carry out Annual Preventive Maintenance on the TR1 (100MVA) 132/33KV Transformer and its associated equipment.

The outage will take place between 10am and 4pm on Wednesday.

It also disclosed that Yaba and its environs will experience power outage on Wednesday, between 10am and 3pm, due to its plans to install a terminal clamp on the Akoka/Ijora line (132KV).