Residents, landlords and business owners have lamented the 13-year blackout being experienced in no fewer than 25 communities in the Ibeju Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State, leading to a lack of potable water and rising insecurity.
Our correspondent who visited some of the communities last Saturday gathered that the blackout was caused by heavy-duty trucks that tripped off electric cables along the roads as well as a lack of injection substations to supply electricity to the area.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the affected communities including Eleko Inu, which has seven communities, Museyo, Lootu, Iberekodo, Badore, Magbon Alade, Magbon Ilado, Orimedun, Orofu, Akodo, Imobido, Idaso, Elemoro and 16 other communities had not enjoyed power supply since 2010, and despite several meetings between the residents and leaders of the communities with other stakeholders, their situation remains unchanged.
Speaking with our correspondent, a member of a youth union simply identified as Olayinka, said the blackout had exposed most of the residents to robbery attacks, especially during night hours.
“Some residents narrated how they were dispossessed of their phones and bags in the night. A lady was almost raped if not for the prompt intervention of the people who were near the scene of the incident. Residents have met with the communities leaders. But nothing has ever come out of it.
“Now, we don’t have water. We fetch water from the well and buy sachet water whenever we need it,” Olayinka said.
A business owner in Lootu town simply identified as Balogun expressed displeasure at the state of some communities in the area.
“The communities that are currently in blackout are not less than 20. Before now, Onigbegi had a regular supply. But they are now in a blackout. There is a place they called Lekki after the refinery. They don’t have light. We can’t even buy fuel again because of the price. We pay N200 to charge our phones and other gadgets,” Balogun said.
One of the landlords in the area, Dr Emmanuel Oshimiyi, claimed that some of the heavy-duty trucks plying the area were responsible for the blackout in some of the communities, adding that they tripped off electric cables in the area.
Oshimiyi said, “The people in Ibeju, Ibeju Ayetedu, Igando and others still enjoy power supply. But the blackout starts from Eleko junction down to Akodo and others.
“In our area, the blackout started in 2010. As they carry their big containers, they tripped off the cable. There are a lot of those instances in my area. This can even lead to the death of many residents. We have complained about this. But nobody is listening to us.”
Another community member, simply known as Mr Taiwo said the communities had not experienced power supply from the Eko Electricity Distribution Company before the commencement of the Free Trade Zone.
Reacting, the spokesperson for the EKEDC, Mr Babatunde Rasaki, told PUNCH Metro on Tuesday that the company was aware of the blackout in the area, adding that there was a need for huge investment in injection substation around the area to restore power supply.
He said, “Residents of Lekki (I) to Ibeju Lekki further down to Epe told us about this issue. We explained to them that the issue is not something that EKEDC alone can fix. The area is challenged. It needs a lot of investment. We need to have injection substations around that axis to be able to supply them with power and it is a capital-intensive project.
“However, EKEDC, Transmission Company of Nigeria and the Federal Government are already talking. The building of injection stations has been approved. The contractors will soon be mobilised to go to the site. But building of injection stations cannot be done within just four months. It takes time.”