Power: Consumers demand Buhari’s action on poor supply | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Power: Consumers demand Buhari’s action on poor supply

Posted: Apr 7, 2015 at 4:45 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Obas Esiedesa  / Senior Reporter, Abuja


With several power plant lying waste due to lack of gas supply,  electricity consumers have urged president-elect, Mohammadu Buhari to urgently resolve to boost power supply in the country.

The consumers noted that resolving the power situation was critical to economic and social growth of Nigeria.

Speaking on consumers’ expectation, a business centre operator in Abuja, Nduka Obiora said if the

Buhari led administration can solve the power supply problem immediately after coming on board, then he would have achieved a lot.

Obiora stated that in the past one year, power supply has reduced each passing month with bills on the increase.

He said:  “The power supply is really very poor in this area and the cost of doing business is too high for small business like mine. Jonathan has done his best, but the problem of electricity is too much”.

“I expect the new president to tackle this if not his government will be like other before him and that will not be good for him image. He must also look at how the PHCN companies were sold to ensure that the proper things were done”, he added.

Another consumer, a hotelier, John Braimoh explained that the cost of diesel to power his company’s generating plant is the major reason for the high cost of doing business in Abuja.

According to him, “every month we spend about N4million in the purchase of diesel to power plant and this has put a lot of strain on the business but with regularly supply of electricity from the  Abuja Distribution Company that cost would be greatly reduced”.

“So, Buhari has to see electricity supply as a priority area for his government if he really wants to grow the economy and create jobs for the masses. The cost of generating electricity privately to run business is too high and really coping has been very difficult”, he emphasised

He pointed out that despite the high bill charged by the AEDC, the public power supply “is still the best because when they manage to supply it, it is more stable because we have  our transformers, we are able to power all our facilities without the noise  associated with the  usage of the generator and our clients are able to sleep comfortably”.

On her part, Marian Ibok, a hair dresser, said with current difficulty in obtaining fuel at petrol station, the need for constant public power supply has been increased.

She noted that power supply in Kpeyegi area of Abuja was particularly poor “such that you stay for days without power at all and I have to rely on my generator and because it is now difficult to buy

fuel from stations because they are not selling and the few that are selling will not sell to ordinary people like me, I have to buy at N150 per litre from black market sellers.

“We urged Buhari solve the problem and improve electricity supply to the masses if not most us will not be able survive”, she said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo has blamed funding challenge for the inability to expand the government’s solar powered project, operation light up Nigeria, beyond the three communities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Nebo explained during an interview in Abuja, that though the three communities have in the past one year enjoyed 24 hours of uninterrupted power supply, expanding the project to other states was hindered by fund paucity.

“I make bold to say that this is the first administration that started the powering of rural communities that are not connected to the national grid and have no visible plan of getting connected in the near future. Government is lightening-up these communities using clean solar energy.

“We did something which to my horror, some people went online to say it couldn’t have been done in Nigeria, while it was right here in Abuja at Durumi, Sape and Ware. These communities have enjoyed 24 hours of power supply, seven days a week for fourteen months, thanks to the solar energy solution”, he said.

“The funding challenge is the reason we haven’t been able to spread this intervention as much as we plan to. But Mr. President has promised that we will implement the solar energy strategy in all the states in a minimum of three communities, as a pilot scheme”, he added.

He noted that “the government took this intervention to the hair braiders in Wuse market. You can imagine that these women in Wuse market who used to use the ‘I better pass my neighbour’ generators when power goes off, now enjoy clean energy all through the hours they work. Before we took the intervention their way, they put up with toxic fume from the generators. They had to put up with noise pollution. But now, their story has changed for the better”.

The minister also stated that the activities of vandals were also hindering progress in the power generation segementt of the electricity supply chain, stressing that last month was particularly bad for the sector.