BE HAPPY THAT WE’VE GOT LIGHT FOR NOW
We were just rejoicing with kainkain and isiewu late party for the unbelievable supply of electricity in recent months when this fool of a man tried to interrupt. He called Power Holding Company a one eye man in the country of the blind. If it was not for the beautiful lady beside him, we were going to soak him. Man cannot even enjoy some little grace of NEPA before these people that hardly see anything good in our Country, including this writer, rudely butt in.
You celebrate NEPA with suya, people tell you the burnt part may cause cancer; you drink to PHC, people tell you too much alcohol cause fatty liver; and if you turn on generator, the same people would tell you carbon monoxide will kill you. No matter what you do to praise or curse NEPA, there are people ready to find fault. What can man do for which we can be blameless?
Honestly, it is hard to identify their problem with Nigeria. They are full of jealousy as soon as Nigeria makes a little progress in 50 year of Independence. There was this 25 years old girl who shouted with excitement that she has never enjoyed continuous power past 24 hours until now. Please tell us if this is the time to spoil her joy. If you see light in Ghana, go there. If you see light in Benin Republic, for god's sake, pack and go. This is Nigeria, love it or leave it!
We are so excited, nobody would believe how much money we have saved on diesel and repair of generators. We could not afford gas tanks to cook for a while, so some of us decided to bless our stoves. We can now afford to buy a tank of gas. Before you know it, our wives were calling one other talking about when they almost go blind from blowing wood or coal stoves and the houses always full of smoke. That is why open kitchen is not practical in Nigeria.
We admire some of our friends that married overseas never thinking of the days when they, their Nigerian or foreign suzies would be blowing wood stoves. These are amenities taken for granted there. We tried to cheer our wives up by reminding them of street parties, cookouts and barbeques in the summers made luscious by wood or coal. Well, that did not exactly work. But Nigeria is getting better and many Nigerians just love the night light at the moment.
Wait a minute, nothing last for a while in our dear Country. It may be time to save for solar energy initial cost. If the light suddenly goes off and we go back to spending all we have on diesel again, those ladies may go on strike. Their type of strike is different from that of labor. As for some of the kids, their foreign passports were left to expire. By the way, cooling fans helped us stay home more often instead of staying late at work or stopping by the clubs, staying late at the neck of the woods and sometimes for charity work outside, if you know what that means.
Anyway, we seek advice from neighboring countries that we sell gas and petrol to, how they handle their constant supply of electricity. Most of our folks that were used to what we are now getting are so old, their grandchildren are glad for this “constant” power supply. Some people may be over doing it though, they iron their clothes whenever they feel like while others have run out of clothes to iron. These days you just have to watch it, for fear of catching “electricitis”, that is oyibo disease of too much supply of light that could blow us up!
Since the polluting generator noises have reduced, some that are envious of those who could afford “I- better- pass-my-neighbors” generator are beginning to smile more and sometimes even extend their greetings. Boy, can you imagine this type of miracle encouraged by NEPA. We sometimes sit around and talk to one another like we have never done for years. The children seem happier and shout less: NEPA! We are moving on up and still praying that this will last.
Nevertheless, we cannot ignore those stories and rumors that have been going round that PHC of Nigeria may explode for generating and distributing so much electricity after been almost dormant for ages. There are also high demands for stabilizer in case of sudden power surge. Other friends of ours that never had fire extinguishers with their wood stoves are buying them because they do not want their houses to explode from this unaccustomed supply of electricity.
We are actually experiencing some side effects. The generator repairmen are asking friends to lend them some money since business has been slow these days. There are gossips around that importers and distributors of generators are taking PHC to task to find out how long the honey moon is going to last so that they can plan accordingly. There is this fear that some crazy people may throw monkey wrench into PHC supply effort.
If big men are not happy, we may not enjoy this light for long. Anyone can tell the difference between those of us that operate our generator around 7 pm to 10 pm, those who go past 10 pm and those that have generators on 24 hours a day. Power Holding company has recently put all of us in the same categories and the rich are not happy. It is almost like when GSM used by market women in Cotonou, became available. It took the rich a while to switch from their 090.
We are already thinking about regular supply of water and maybe the way it used to be as we are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. We still went to United Nations for water, meaning it might take UN to supply all our needs from the ocean nearer by. Many of us have since moved beyond that, and built our wells and borehole. The supply of electricity like never before makes water from boreholes easier.
Some people are still not happy, they have been warning us about all kinds of substances in well and boreholes. If we have a choice between well water and no water at all, bless our souls with well water to clean, flush toilets and for shower. Drinking water may take a little more effort like filtering and additional chemical mixture.
Look, the point is that light and water has come one way or the other. If there is a way to get it and be comfortable at home, so be it. Unfortunately, the cost of obtaining basic services in Nigeria may be more than in the countries some other people are used to. If that is the case, before you leave those countries, bring your own light and water. Chikena!