Incessant Rains, Continuous Blackout And IKEDC Excuses
ElevateNews takes a look at the inefficiency of DISCOs during the raining season.
The downpour has been heavy and incessant in Lagos in the last few days. As the rain persists, power outage lingers in many parts of Lagos under the control of the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, IKEDC.
Of course, this electricity is powered by water. It is hydrogenated electricity but it is also being disrupted by water, yet the IKEDC has been economical with the truth. It is a culture since I grew up to experience electricity that the National Electric Power Authority, NEPA and later the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN would switch off the supply whenever there was thunderous rain to prevent damages.
It would not last these organizations a day to restore power after the rain had subsided, except there was a major fault somewhere.
However, the situation has changed since the IKEDC took over the distribution while the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN is now in charge of the high tension activities.
Though the IKEDC, EKEDC and IBEDC have improved in their information dissemination strategy, using both SMS and electronic mails to inform their customers about their services, the companies’ technical capacity to prevent fault and correct it is still lacking.
Must the customers always be in darkness whenever it rains for almost a week after the downpour? For more than two weeks now, residents under the Akute/Oke Aro 33kva feeder supplying some parts of Ikeja have been living in darkness due to the faulty feeder.
The message will always say that the IKEDC technicians are working on it and that the supply will be restored as soon as the work is completed.
Yes, they work because the supply come at times for a few minutes if it does not rain. But as soon as the rains drop again, the supply will seize for another seven days or more. Some say that the IKEDC usually allows the cable to dry for three days after rain before restoring the supply.
This sounds absurd but it also looks like the truth, judging by how long it always takes the distribution company to restore supply. There is a need for the distribution and transmission companies to invest in modern technology to solve this problem of incessant feeder failure.
Worse still is the estimated bill that will begin to fly around with outrageous amount despite the continuous outage. The company has perfected this fraud so much that customers now pay through their noses for this poor service.
On Friday, the House of Representatives criminalized outrageous bill but the main problem here is how this law will be enforced. Learnt that there is enough prepaid meter, which should have been supplied to customers free is now been sold at a unit cost of about N38, 000.
The idea of the prepaid meter is to address the estimated bill but in doing that the customer is expected to have paid all its outstanding estimated bill before the pre-paid meter is allocated to him.