While many take the constant supply of power for granted, Nigerians know how frustrating it is to have electricity for limited hours and then spend the other periods of the day in darkness or have to irk out more funds to generate power through generators, solar lamps and other sources.
The people of Magodo Estate in Nigeria’s economic capital, Lagos, have experienced a change in their forlorn fortune as they applauded Ikeja Electric Plc (IE) for providing stable electricity to customers within the Estate following the signing of the Premium Power Agreement, reports local Nigerian Newspaper The Cable.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had issued a Willing Buyer, Willing Seller initiative to help transform the power sector.
Since the rollout of the project, many have expressed delight with the uninterrupted power. The Estate has been on 24-hour supply since August 15, 2019, and under the agreement. There will also be access to dedicated Customer Care and Technical teams for prompt resolution of queries or technical issues within the Estate.
On Twitter, Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji @toyosirise who is Social Entrepreneur wrote: “I live in Magodo. This is the first time in my entire life I’ll experience 24hrs/uninterrupted Electricity Supply as a Citizen in Nigeria. Still feels surreal. Massive savings for my Husband & I on Petrol/Diesel+Peace & Comfort. Welldone @IkejaElectric.”
The 24-hour power supply becoming a source of joy shows that Nigeria’s chronic power unavailability despite being a notable crude oil producer is unfortunate.
Now that there is regular power, the issue of cost is another troubling matter needing attention. From the Twitter submissions, there was fear of power being affordable to only the wealthy while leaving access to power supply well beyond the reach of the economically weak.
Given that the Magodo Estate has business operators who use power for their businesses and then residential use, there’s a need for equity regarding the billing.
At the contract signing ceremony, the chief operating officer of Ikeja Electric, Folake Soetan said as quoted by The Cable Nigeria: “We are confident that this agreement will serve as a model for other power agreements in the power sector because, while it is in line with the Federal Government policy, it also reflects our unwavering commitment to our customers. This has also been made possible by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s directive to DisCos to provide an enabling environment with exceptional service delivery.”
Others also shared their experiences: