Residents of six communities in Ife North Local Government Area of Osun State have taken to the streets to protest the erratic power supply by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC). The protesting youths from Ipetumodu, Asipa, Akinlalu, Yakooyo, Moro, and Edunabon also complained about the alleged exorbitant electricity bills issued by the electricity company.
The youths, led by Babalola Taiwo, the acting Youth President, lamented the hardship they have been facing as a result of the prolonged power outage. Taiwo revealed that the communities have been without electricity for an extended period, which has negatively impacted their daily lives and businesses. He added that the situation had forced some artisans to relocate from the communities due to their inability to afford generators.
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The protesters called on the Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, and the newly elected member of the State House of Assembly, Akinyode Abidemi Oyewusi, to come to their aid urgently. They also warned the IBEDC to find a solution to the problem, alleging that the power outage had made their communities vulnerable to attacks by hoodlums, especially at night.
Reacting to the protest, the Senior Communication Officer of IBEDC, Osun Region, Kikelomo Owoeye, appealed to the residents of the affected areas to remain calm as the electricity company was working to resolve the issue. Owoeye explained that the power outage was due to faulty equipment from the Transmission station on March 10, 2023.
According to her, “On March 10, 2023, there was a fault due to faulty equipment from Transmission Station, Ajebandele, which resulted in a prolonged outage. However, all the faults have been cleared, and we have begun to work towards achieving the minimum of 8 hours of supply, which is the Service Tariff Band D they belong to.”
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She also stated that the IBEDC had met with the youths and traditional rulers in the affected communities and advised them to forward any disputed bills to the Business Hub in Ile-Ife for resolution.
The protest by the residents of the affected communities is not the first of its kind in the state. In recent times, several communities have taken to the streets to protest against the poor power supply and exorbitant electricity bills issued by the IBEDC.
The IBEDC, which distributes electricity to Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Kwara, and parts of Niger, Ekiti, and Kogi states, has been plagued with several challenges that have affected its performance in recent times. The company has been criticized for its poor customer service, inadequate power supply, and exorbitant electricity bills.
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The Nigerian government has been making efforts to improve electricity supply in the country. However, the country’s power sector has been facing several challenges, including inadequate power generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure, vandalism of electricity facilities, and inadequate funding. These challenges have made it difficult for the government to meet the electricity needs of its citizens.