The consumers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that hours of electricity supply by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) had reduced considerably in the last one month.
The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) recently wheeled out over 4,500 megawatts of electricity to 11 distribution companies (Discos) as gas distribution improved slightly.
Mrs Funmilayo Ajogbasile, a President of Lions Club in Ogun, described the near-blackout situation in the state capital as unfortunate and dehumanizing.
“It is unfortunate that we are experiencing this blackout; I thought the new government will bring us out of the doldrums but it appears we are being plunged deeper into darkness by the Discos.
“It is so bad that you cannot buy food items in bulk and store in the freezer to save cost in this harsh economy; government should overhaul the power sector and get rid of clogs in the wheel of progress as well as assist the Discos to replace old equipment.
“The directive of the Minister of Power, Mr Babatunde Fashola, is not being complied with on the installation of pre-paid meters for all houses by Discos because they make more money from estimated and crazy bills they give consumers,’’ she told NAN on telephone.
Mr Wole Elegbede, a former Chief Press Secretary to Ogun Governor, also bemoaned the situation, suspecting sabotage by the distribution company in supplying electricity to its consumers in Abeokuta in spite of improvement in power generation.
“There is no value for the money we pay for electricity not supplied, it is very unfortunate that the privatisation of the power sector by the ex-President Goodluck Jonathan administration has not improved power supply.
“In the past three weeks or more power supply has really deteriorated that we can only boast of light for five hours in a week.
“The government should do something urgently to ensure stable power supply if at least for eight hours daily on rationing basis in line with its change mantra,” he said.
Ajogbasile, a retired school principal, suggested that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Agency (NERC) should establish offices in all the 36 states for easy access by electricity consumers and to attend promptly to consumers’ complaints.
Mr Lola Sotola, a resident of Onikolobo area of Abeokuta described the services by IBEDC as poor, saying we do not enjoy light again even when there had been improvement in power generation.
“In Onikolobo and Adigbe area even in parts of the city there is no light.
“They `flash’ it sometimes or provide two or three hours of electricity every other day.”
Another consumer, Mr Oluyemi Omotayo, also told NAN that some communities in the suburb enjoy at least 10 hours of electricity daily, leaving Abeokuta in darkness. He named the communities as Obada, Akinjole, Lala, Awowo, Wasimi and Ewekoro.
The Chairman, Community Development Council in Adigbe, Abeokuta, Mr Kehinde Thomas, a civil engineer, urged the Federal Government to intervene urgently to save the sector from collapse. Thomas, however, said that electricity supply in his area had “improved” considerably in the last two weeks. Contacted, Ms Angela Olanrewaju, the Head, Corporate Communications Unit, IBEDC, told NAN that the irregular power supply in some Ogun communities was as a result of ongoing maintenance by TCN. Olanrewaju urged consumers in the area to be patient, adding that the maintenance work would soon be completed.
She, however, apologised to consumers in the area over the power outage and assured them of improvement in electricity supply would as soon as the job was completed.