The Poor Power Supply Yet High Bill In Lapai
In Niger State, the power state that host the three mega electricity generating station of the federation, the unwarranted worsening erratic supply of electricity to Nigerlites is nothing but a show of shame.
I have decided to talk about this issue simply because those who are supposed to do so, do not have the convenience. Is it not a shame when we visit places like Abuja and Kaduna and discover that the situation of electricity supply is hundred times better than what is obtains in Niger state.
One begins to wonder how this is possible, just to return home and be welcomed by the bitter reality of constant darkness and shattered dreams. The power situation in Niger state generally and in Lapai Local Government Area in particular, is so frustrating so much so that power can come and go five times within a span of ten minutes, and when it eventually stays, it is so low that it can’t even light an energy saving bulb not to talk of powering a flat screen television.
To add more salt to injury, at the end of the month you are confronted with a bill that makes you think and wonder if it is spirits that consume such amount of power, whether you have a meter or some half-baked bill distributor estimating your consumption.
The bills always had hand written amount on it stating the amount you will pay. Ranging from N12,000 to N20,000 on a monthly basis. The good and law abiding people of Lapai has been compelled to this exorbitant fees by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company. They always set targeted amount that they want to received from the poor masses of Lapai Emirate.
This is our reality in Lapai and these realities begin to provoke some rational questions in your mind. For example, are the Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro dams no longer situated in Niger state? Are these dams no longer contributing about 30% to the national grid?
Is there not supposed to be any form of incentives given to Niger state for being a power generating state even if the communities that are adversely affected by the dams do not even have the lines? Can’t the government of Niger state put in place a mechanism for re-negotiating this condition so that the power supply to the state can improve? Is it just that nothing can be done or perhaps the lack of seriousness and empathy of the Federal State and Local Government that has allowed the status quo to perpetuate? Where are the elders of Lapai Emirate and why have they decided to keep mute on this issue?
Where are the Director General, Niger Insurance, Dr. Ibrahim Alhassan, business tycoon Alhaji Abubakar Dikko (Iyan Lapai) who was reputed to be the richest person in Lapai? Where are the Governor, Minister, Senator, Rep and Member State House of Assembly of yesterday that were once strong and powerful, the former governor Engr Abdulkadir Abdullahi Kure, and his wife former senator, Hajiya Zainab Kure, former minister of power for state Hajiya Zainab Kuchi, former Rep, Hon. Ibrahim Abdul Ebbo and former member state House of Assembly, Hon. Usman Magaji? Where are the current Rep Hon. Mahmud Mahmud and member state House of Assembly, Hon. Adamu Abugi? Why have they all chosen to abandon reason and logic. Why have they remained for themselves and not for us?
Is it the comfort of your big mansions and the mighty and lavishing generators that has made you all to remain silent? Have you no idea that your status is both a blessing and test from Allah? Will you do something about this issue now or will you wait until our people start agitating for a fair share like the militants in the Niger delta?
Are you not aware that people’s livelihood is hampered by the presence of these dams, as well as the destruction of farm produce and houses when occasionally the water from the dams are released. Some years back, some communities behind the three dams have lost all their crops and most of their homes.
So, please stop turning your backs and over-looking the predicament of your people as a result of these dams. I call on you all to do some soul searching and while at it be truthful to your conscience.
Use this plea to seize a brilliant opportunity to savor an understanding of the power situation and put forward an everlasting solution, which is not only affecting individuals at domestic level but the entire state at economic level, since there will never be economic development without power.
Usman Mohammed. Department of Mass Communication,
IBB University, Lapai-Niger State 07060815443 [email protected]