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IBEDC, 50 rural communities bicker over electricity blackout

… No connection for Communities with substandard network-IBEDC insists

By Samuel Ibiyemi

The Coalition of Border Communities Development Associations CBCDA in Ogun State and the management of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company ( IBEDC) are set for war over blackout in  50 rural communities .  The  management of IBEDC had insisted that’s here will be no connection of   Electricity to  rural communities that failed to adhere strictly to its network standard policies.

The communitiessaid activities of  Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, IBDEC, is hindering growth and development of many Communities in the state.

The coalition  in a communique after it’s end of the year meeting in Ota area, at the weekend, said more than 50 developing Communities bordering Lagos will celebrate the festive season in darkness due to highardness and insensitivity of  IBEDC.

The communique signed by its  Coalition Chairman,  Samuel Ayo-Oloye and Secretary General Prince Adekola Adeseyi said reports about electrifications of developing Communities in Ogun State under IBEDC is shameful and gross violation of residents fundamental right of access to Electricity.

The Communities said deliberate refusal of IBEDC to distribute electricity to these growing Communities is crippling economic development of Ogun State in general.

The group said thousands of families are being denied access to electricity, worsening their condition of living in those Communities.

The Communities said despite spending millions on electrification projects, IBEDC is in the habits of frustrating their communal efforts.

“The coalition received serious complains from member Communities in Ota, Atan, Ijoko, Ilogbo among others.

“In Atan, more than 14 Communities including Ifelodun CDA, Ologode Village, Teachers Estate, Adekoyeni CDA are begin held in darkness due to IBEDC failure to either energize their transformer or give approval to connect to nearby High Tension.

“In Ota, two Communities along Itele road had been in darkness for over two years due to issues regarding to 33HTC high tension.

” A clear case is that of Peacland CDA who has completed all it’s internal electrifications, bought a 33HTC compliant transformer and is currently in darkness because IBEDC wanted it so.

“The said Community is about 7 poles to the 33HTC but compromised IBEDC Officials are insisting on the community to connect to a 11HTC which is about 50 poles away.” The group said.

The group also slammed the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory  Commission NERC for not coming to the aids of the Communities after receiving several complains and petitions from Communities in darkness.

“NERC will admit that it has received over 500 petitions from Communities in Ogun state, it’s disheartening that these petitions never received good attention nor bought solution to plights of the communities.

“In most cases it  worsen the relationship of the community and IBEDC, who always brag that NERC cannot order them to connect any community, it’s seems NERC is a toothless dog that only barks on paper.”

The group called on the Ogun state government and House of Assembly to quickly intervene in wave of darkness witnessed by several Communities sharing boundaries with Lagos State.

The Communities also called on all relevant Federal agencies and ministry to beam it’s light on IBEDC mundane activities nationwide.

Howev r in response to allegation by these rural communities,the Regional Communications Officer of IBEDC, Ayodeji Bada said that IBEDC as a customer friendly organization has always taken the welfare and customer satisfaction paramount in all her activities.

He said the allegation by the Coalition of Border Communities Development Associations that the activities of the company is hindering the growth and development of many communities in the state is not true and unfounded as IBEDC has been energizing numerous new communities in Ogun State and across its franchise area.

“It has been the habit of communities to commence self-help projects without the notification and approval of the Company. The projects are completed without the Company’s supervision with inferior/substandard installation materials which are not safe for our network. After completion they would want the company to energize such project which is denied out rightly until necessary corrections are effected,” he said.

According to Bada, one of the policies of the company disallows the connection of 33KV network where there is 11KV network. However, he lamented that  some communities will still go ahead to construct 33KV line which the company cannot approve. “The Company cannot deny any community access to electricity supply if all necessary due process and policies are strictly adhered to, ” he pointed out.

” Peaceland CDA is one of the communities having 11KV network close to them with about 15 spans but rather than connecting to it, they constructed another 33KV network to theircommunity for connection which is against the policy of the Company which we explained to the community.

He continued:”They were also made to understand that 33KV line was not meant for residential customers but the proliferation of the network in Ota was as a result of the area been originally designed as an industrial area of Ogun State.

The Management of Ogun Region has met severally with Mr. Samuel Ayo-Oloye Chairman of the coalition and executives of his community and we are working together on proffering solution to the issue.

He added: “It is worthy of note to state that there is no community bordering Ogun State that is denied electricity except communities that refuses to adhere strictly to the company’s network standard policies that will not be connected to IBEDC network.

We however remain committed to energizing all customers in our franchise area within the approved policies and stipulated guidelines”.

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