Ogun community begs Ikeja Electric for band upgrade

Some residents and business owners in the Magodo Phase One Estate in the Isheri area of Ogun State have appealed to Ikeja Electric to upgrade the estate’s power tariff to Band A.

The residents, who spoke with PUNCH Metro in different interviews on Wednesday, lamented the prolonged blackout experienced in the area, noting its adverse effects on businesses and schools within the community.

The Chairman of Magodo Phase One, Otunba Adeleke, said that the estate sent a letter to Ikeja Electric expressing their willingness to pay a higher amount in electricity bills. However, the firm responded saying they lacked the required funds for such an upgrade.

He noted that if the blackout situation is not resolved, the estate residents will stage a protest.

He said, “All along we have had a steady supply, and all of a sudden, we noticed that other zones have electricity but we do not.

“Our problem is that we have been ready to pay more, and we have signed an agreement with Ikeja Electric for a premium (Band A), but they have refused to execute it with the excuse that they do not have the capacity.

“We wanted to stage a protest, but we suspended it. We have reached an agreement that on Thursday we will carry placards. It has nothing to do with payment because Magodo GRA is ready to pay.”

Similarly, the Vice Chairman of the estate, Henry Adeyemi, said the intermittent power supply has negatively impacted businesses and schools in the area.

“We have been receiving quite an epileptic supply of power from Ikeja Electric, and at some point, the light did not even blink, and that has caused a lot of problems in the estate. Schools and businesses are greatly affected by the issue. We are ready to pay for an upgrade, so I do not think money is the problem.”

In a letter seen by our correspondent, estate residents expressed their displeasure at the organisation’s denial of proportional electricity supply to the area based on the tariff rate the residents are paying.

The letter partly read, “Therefore, we hereby express our displeasure with your poor services, the deliberate action of your organisation to deny our area of commensurate electricity supply to the tariff rate we are being charged, and your refusal to address our complaints.

“We are indeed constrained to officially lodge our complaints about the unfair treatment we are receiving from your organisation with the National Electricity Regulatory Corporation for the unfair tariff rate we have been paying since November 2023. We have observed this epileptic power supply.”

When contacted, the spokesperson for the IE, Kingsley Okotie, stated that the majority of load centres are experiencing problems with equipment vandalism and a lack of gas for the power plants, adding that the company is attempting to provide a long-term solution.

“Most of the load centres where we receive power have massive restrictions. I think they gave out a publication last week trying to explain the various challenges they are experiencing, including vandalism of their equipment, a shortage of gases for the power plants, and other issues that they are trying to resolve arising from the last system collapse that we had.

“Since we had that system collapse, the expected stability has not taken place, and it is affecting us as well. The only thing we can do right now is appeal to our customers. It is not just an Ikeja (Electric) problem but a chain issue that we are trying to resolve with all stakeholders. It is a serious shedding problem, and we are not trying to hide anything.

“All these problems will be resolved, and we will go back to normalcy again,” Okotie said.

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