Business activities have been grounded in communities in Anaye and Oke-Abuja of Iragbiji in Osun State has been thrown into blackout following the electricity transformer over six weeks ago.
The situation also impacted negatively on the lives in the two communities where Anaye market one of the business hubs serving Iragbiji town and its neighboring communities is situated.
Baale Kola Alao, the community head of the Anaye community, said the ‘aged’ electricity transformer has been gulping money from the communities for a long time. Explained that lots of money had been spent to repair it several times in the past, noting that the community spent over N400, 000 less than a year ago when it was last repaired.
“The money we spent last time was over N400,000. They (IBEDC) took it to Offa to repair and brought it back after two weeks.
“Since then, it’s never been the same again. We repaired it again after that. Our prayer is to see someone who will buy another one for us,” he said.
According to him, the blackout in the community has forced many people who depend largely on electricity out of business, adding, however, that the situation may persist for a long time as the two communities are still finding it difficult to gather the required amount of money for the repair.
“Since we’ve been going around, we’ve not gathered up to N300,000. When are we going to gather N1 million? They said until we gather it. But what do we know about it? There’s no NEPA among us.”
The community would only have rest of mind on the issue of electricity until they see someone who would volunteer to assist them with a brand new transformer, he added.
The proprietor of a company that manufactures cooking oil in the area, Adebayo Akeem said the transformer has not only kept him out of business but affected his relationship with the banking institutions he works with.
Akeem added that the situation became difficult for his business, explained that his profit now depend on the availability of electricity from the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), and noted that it is expensive for his business to run on diesel fuel at the moment.
“It’s over two months ago now. We went to meet with the NEPA (now IBEDC), but they said they had no power to neither repair it nor restore electricity unless we can pay for the repair ourselves,” he said.
He stated that officials at the electricity company had contacted an engineer for repair who demanded a sum of N1 million, saying their inability to gather the money is making it difficult for many people and businesses in the communities.
Another shop owner, Adeyemi Saheed, said he is among many shop owners who came to work, to avert closing down but has no stock in trade due to a lack of electricity.
He said the only option remaining for them was to beg for a new transformer, adding that the faulty one has been gulping money from the two communities since 2018.
Ms. Funke Ejalonibu who operates a computer center and ice water business explained that the situation made her lose her longtime customers.
“That time it became faulty was when we were printing examination questions for private schools. But because we had to switch to the generator for printing and you know the price of fuel now, immediately we tell them the price per copy, they leave,” she said.
An official of the IBEDC said a letter of complaint had been sent to their head office in Ibadan and the communities were told to wait for the IBEDC but volunteered to look for money for the repair too swift restoration of electricity in the area.
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