By Tina Osoro
The importance of power supply can never be underestimated as it is all encompassing, cutting across all aspects of the society and the economy. This is why electricity has been categorized as a commodity used by individuals, industries, institutions and organizations to power their energy needs.
Nigeria boasts of selling electricity to some countries in Africa, and even has more to sell. Ironically, citizens of Nigeria are daily lamenting the poor state of electricity supply, forcing many to look for alternatives such as procuring power generating sets and solar power energy, with its attendant cost of maintenance.
However, residents believe that electricity is still a social need that should not be left totally in the hands of private companies to distribute owing to its socio-economic role in the advancement of society.
Our correspondent went to town on the issue of epileptic power supply and reported that residents of the Delta State Capital, Asaba and Okpanam lamented over what they described as constant deterioration of power supply, calling on the appropriate authorities to provide a lasting solution to their plight.
Mr Pius Eze owns a barbing salon. He bemoaned the negative effects of the epileptic power supply on his business, saying that the situation had made business less profitable, and that he relied on his generator 80 percent of the time and still had to pay electricity bill monthly.
“I hope one day there will finally be a solution to the issue of electricity in this country, because this mata don tay nor be today,” he said in pidgin English.
Madam Adachi Okeke, a trader at Midwifery Market said the “light rationing” in her area was unfavourable, stating that she leaves home when there is no power supply and she comes back to meet the same situation until late into the night.
She added that it is even more annoying because of the unavailability of prepaid metres, which she noted, would have helped to checkmate estimated billing.
Madam Okeke said that it would be a relief if the prepaid metres were readily available on request, pointing out that when people start to pay as they consume, the electricity companies would sit up and do the needful to increase power supply.
Rosemary Ogude, a business woman also complained about the effect of incessant power outage in households, saying, “I no longer refrigerate my foods and this is making me cook more often than usual.”
She pleaded with the Federal Government and power generation and distribution companies to work hard on providing regular electricity to consumers.
According to Mr Friday Ashaku, a civil servant, “In our area when it rains, there will be a total black out for at least two to five days as the case may be,” adding that there was a time when for over a year they did not have light at all due to faulty transformer.
He said that electricity companies were suppose to be responsible for the replacement and the installation of faulty transformers and cables, arguing that customers pay for the services already.
“It is out of place for them to expect the consumers to buy transformers and other faulty materials, and make the consumers pay through their nose before they even install this transformer and cables and so on,” he stated.
He called on the state and federal governments to look into and checkmate this act of exploitation carried out by the electricity companies.