Daily Trust (Abuja)

27 December 2012

Nigeria: Despite 4500 Megawatts, Electricity Supply Still Epileptic

Last Friday, the federal government announced that power generation had hit an all time high of 4, 500 megawatts. But not all electricity consumers seem to be feeling the positive effect of this development.

Mrs. Alice Akakpo is a hair stylist in Kuruduma village, a slum community in the neighbourhood of highbrow Asokoro, Abuja. She relies on generator for her business and this is eating deep into her income.

Kuruduma village has never known pubic electricity supply even though it is inhabited by thousands of people and only about 100 meters from the upscale Asokoro residential district.

Mrs. Akakpo is one of the many small business owners and artisans in Kuruduma who spend much of their little profit on fuelling generators.

She told her story thus; "I have been in this community for the past six years. I feel sad that we are not connected to public electricity. We rely on generator and I am particularly affected. I spend between N1,500 to N2,000 daily for fuel. It takes much of my profit."

Another Kuruduma resident who is an electronics shop keeper, Muhammed Sabiu told Daily Trust that the local tax authorities visit them annually to collect a levy of N5,000 each from every shop owner. Yet, the same authorities do not care about their plight.

He said: "Apart from the Police station, there is nothing else to symbolize the presence of government in our lives. There is no school, no clinic and no water. We depend on the local water vendors for water which is not very hygienic."

Ahmed Abdullahi is a resident of Kubwa, Abuja. He believes government was being political about electricity generation capacity.

He said: "Within two weeks, the federal government announced increase in generation capacity of about 500MW and yet we are not seeing the result in terms of supply. Where I live, power supply has never been worse."

Mrs. Wasilat Abdulfatai, a resident of Byazhin, Abuja lamented that there was still much to be desired in electricity supply in her area. She said though they were on load shedding - having one day on and another day off - the situation remains dire as the frequency is hardly followed by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

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