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Host communities of Egbin Power Station lament irregular power supply, other challenges

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Residents of Egbin, Ipakan and Ijede areas of Ikorodu, Lagos State, have lamented irregular power supply by the authorities of Egbin Thermal Power Plant in spite of being the host communities.

Leaders of the communities, made the appeal at a town hall meeting organised by the host communities of the power plant in Ijede, Ikorodu on Saturday.

They made the appeal against the backdrop of an alleged plan by the authorities of Egbin Power Station to move an abandoned 1X100 MVA transformer project meant for the area to another transmission station.

The Community Development Chairman (CDC), Alhaji Shakiru Ajala, highlighted some of the challenges faced by the communities since Egbin Thermal station was sited in the community.

Ajala urged the government as a matter of urgency to resolve the situation before it gets out of hand.

“The host communities have been in darkness while the Egbin Power Plc Estate enjoys 24 hours uninterrupted power supply,’’ he said.

Ajala said that top among the demands was that the abandoned 100MVA transformer should not to be moved to another transmission station for use but rather to be energised and put to use for the host community.

He said that the communities demanded that this should be on the priority list during massive deployment of prepaid meters.

“We are aware that Meter Asset Provider (MAPs) will soon be operational and the installation should be free,’’ he said.

However, since MAP operators were different, arrangements should be worked out for Egbin and other companies to absorb the cost as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the host communities.

The CDC chairman also demanded that Igbopa Community must be connected because they had been in darkness for three years, saying that the community was among those that tendered their land to the Discos.

He noted that removal of indiscriminate tariff was also part of their demands.

Ajala said the people of the communities had been deprived of their primary means of livelihood of fishing and farming through the donation of vast hectares of lands used as power plant and staff housing estate.

According to the chairman, it is on record that the indigenes of the communities have not benefitted from several recruitments by the new owners of the electricity company since coming on board in 2013.

“All efforts made to secure employment for qualified indigenes in line with the government’s catchment policy was to no avail.

“The mass of our people are apprehensive. The entire community residents are ready to take their destiny into their own hands over the power challenges,’’ he said.

The regent of Ijede, Chief Kayode Musediku, said that non-availability of power supply had crippled the economy and commercial activities of the communities.

Musediku said that people were moving out from the community en masse as a result of the environmental hazards caused by industrial waste from Egbin thermal station.

“As you can see, people of Ijede are known to be fish farmers but because of the chemicals and hot water flowing into the lagoon, we no longer engage in our usual trade.

“Since this power plant is sited in Ijede, we did not benefit anything from the company. Most times, we pay a huge amount for the epileptic power supply in spite of being the host communities.

`We are appealing to the government to as a matter of urgency, intervene because we are peace and law-abiding citizens,’’ the regent said.

Mr Kazeem Ogun, Youth Leader, called on the Minister of Power, Works & Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, to set up a committee to investigate the matter raised by the host communities and ensure that there was no disconnect between the host communities and power operators.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that members of the communities, CDCs and leaders were present at the meeting.

 

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