Residents and business owners in Lagos State on Wednesday decried the low supply of power to customers by Ikeja Electric Plc and Eko Electricity Distribution Company Ltd.
Electricity supply to many areas in Lagos State, which is Nigeria’s commercial capital, has dwindled over the past weeks.
The situation has been worsened by the ongoing scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), which serves as an alternative fuel by residents to power their homes and businesses.
Mr Surai Fadairo, National President, Energy Consumer Rights and Responsibilities Initiative (ECRRI), said that many parts of Lagos were currently getting below six hours of electricity supply daily.
Fadairo said: “The situation these past few weeks has been terrible. We have received so many complaints from various areas about the poor condition of electricity being supplied to them.
“While some have been in total darkness for weeks, others barely get up to six hours supply from Eko and Ikeja DisCos.
“Yet, at month end, they come with outrageous estimated bills that should be paid by customers for power not used.”
He urged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to call the DisCos to order in line with its statutory regulatory responsibilities.
A business centre operator under Ikeja Electric, Mr Chidi Onwuka, said the DisCo had been taking customers for granted with their epileptic power supply.
Onwuka said the situation was affecting his business negatively, especially as getting petrol to power his generators had also become difficult due to the scarcity of the product.
“ This is the time for us to read the agreement they signed. No power, no payment or distribution of bills,” he added.
Also, Mr Moses Ayoola, another customer in Egbeda area, said that the DisCos should do the needful by reducing the tariffs charged to customers.
Ayoola explained that the hike in tariffs was predicated on increased supply which the DisCos had failed to do in recent times.
Mr Tunde Cole, a resident at Command Ipaja axis of the state said his area only has light for 15 days in a month due to load shedding by Ikeja Electric.
“We use light for 15 days in a month, and in a day we don’t get supplied up to five hours of power. Yet we are billed N30,000 plus in a month for 15 days light”, he said.
A resident of Ojo, Miss Joy Odeh, said EKEDC power supply to Agbabiaka axis of the area had been very poor which had affected small businesses in the area.
“The cost of goods and services have gone up here because business owners are always using generators due to lack of electricity supply, ” she said.
Similarly, Mr Taiwo Ige, who resides in Surulere, said Bishop Crowther Street, Akerele, Ogunlana Drive, Falolu and its environs had been without light for the past three weeks.
However, the DisCos attributed the decline in power supply to their customers to a drop in power generation.
“Dear esteemed customer, we apologise for the persistent poor power supply you have been experiencing in certain parts of our network.
” This due to load shedding by Transmission as a result of drop in power generation.
“We regret the inconvenience this has caused and wish to assure that we are engaging the responsible stakeholders in the electricity value chain to improve
”Kindly bear with us at this time,” Ikeja Electric said in a public notice.
Also, EKEDC said in a public notice that the Transmission Company of Nigeria load allocation to its network had dropped from 440 MW to 290MW due to low generation.
” This has led to outages and load shedding in some areas within our network.
“We sincerely apologise for the current situation and assure you that we are working with our partners in generation and transmission to resolve this issue as soon as possible.
“We equally wish to inform you that we are embarking on projects to improve our supply. Thank you for your understanding,” EKEDC said.
It further clarified that the present outage on Festac 1 33KV Feeder was due to vandalism of its cables around the Lagos State University (LASU).
The DisCo said the affected areas were Jakande, Sabo, Igbede, Shibiri, Etegbin, Ilufe, Afromedia, Aka road, Remi, Part of Alaba International Market, Mosafejo, Sowemimo, Agbabiaka, Ilogbo Elegba and environs.
It added that efforts were ongoing to replace the vandalised cables and restore supply as soon as possible.