By Efe Agabi
Electricity is not stable in Nigeria, but the intermittent power supply provides succor even with the overbilling that is largely difficult to afford. In recent weeks, residents in Orogun have been worried that fallen electricity poles have been left unreplaced with attendant socioeconomic consequences.
A businesswoman that is considering closing up her frozen food business said “The torrential rains are here again, and as expected, the electricity supply would be affected. But the major problem is that the BEDC has refused to replace broken and fallen electricity poles. People are now resorting to solar power which is beyond the reach of the poor. The use of solar is now very common in Igbuku road where many of the elites are domicile”. She equally made a passionate appeal to the local government chairman, the five councillors in the kingdom, member representing Ughelli North Constituency 1 to swing into action as the absence of power is causing economic losses for MSMEs.
Another resident that requested anonymity decried the inverse correlation between exorbitant electricity bills and power supply by the BEDC. He equally interrogated why the people should provide electricity poles, transformers, and other facilities for a company in business. He further called on the authorities to review the operations of DISCOS and the unjust collection of bills in Orogun kingdom
In the same breath, a driver that plies the Ugono Salubi road regularly attempted to quantify the fund required to replace the fallen poles between Ugono and Salubi. According to him, the concrete pole is fifty thousand, and the six poles would cost 300,000. The total cost to fix the problem might run into half a million naira.
We rely on vendors to power our phones because of the over two months of blackout. To spend one hundred naira daily is now very difficult, and there is no end in sight as we speak ‘ another resident lamented
It can be conceded that the BEDC has left the community to fate as they tend to feign oblivion over the economic consequences of the two months blackout. But would swing into the collection of estimated bills when the poles are replaced by the community.