Ogwashi-Uku community in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State has appealed to the Federal Government restore electricity supply, which had eluded the community for more than seven years.
Sam Obidi, who is a member of “The Forum”, made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Asaba.
The Forum is a body working with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company to restore electricity supply to Ogwashi-Uku.
Obidi said the economy of the area had deteriorated overtime.
He said that with the recent step-down of power in Asaba and the adjoining communities of Issele-Uku, Illah, Ibusa, Ogwashi-Uku, the community would have had remarkable impact compared to when power supply came from Obosi in Anambra State.
Obidi said that while some of the communities had been restructured and reconnected and receiving power supply, Ogwashi-Uku, Illah and some other communities had been left out and every effort to reconnect these communities remained a challenge.
He, however, said that micro and small businesses in the communities had suffered great setback due to lack of public source of power.
Obidi said that there was no doubt that the economy of Ogwashi-Uku community, being host to a state polytechnic would blossom, jobs created and criminality checked and a peaceful and secured state promoted, “if electricity is restored”.
According to him, computer business centres, barbing saloons, fashion houses, welders, other operators, have suffered losses and some have closed shops due to the high cost of operating in the area.
Obidi said: “Those who managed to stay with their businesses in the past seven years have operated at higher cost and charges higher prices for their services at the expense of the community.
“The situation here seemed hopeless as most-recently repaired transformers in Ogwashi-Uku have been vandalised in spite of the huge sacrifices made by the stakeholders in the community.”
He said that stakeholders in the community in 2016 committed about N20 million to the contractor handling the project to fix the transformers in the area.
Obidi said that the delay in restoring the power by BEDC which had insisted on metering the community, had remained a major challenge.
He said: “We complained to the Nigerian Electricity Regulation Commission, which directed that BEDC should supply electricity to the community with or without metering.”
NAN reports that an effort to reach the public relations officer of BEDC, Asaba zone, was to no avail.