Lagos – Artisans in Ijegun, Jakande Estate and Oke-Afa Isolo communities in Lagos have decried the persistent power outage in their areas after the privatisation of the power sector.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews in Lagos on Tuesday that the poor situation has rendered them less productive.
According to them, most of the artisans have been forced into other trades to earn a living and meet their families’ obligations.
Mr Wasiu Osho, a welder, said that he spent about N20, 000 weekly on diesel to operate his wielding business.
“It has never been this bad in Ijegun as far as electricity supply is concerned, but it appears that privatisation of the sector has altered the situation.
“In the last two months, power supply to the community has become erratic and this has affected social, business and commercial lives.
“Some artisans, who cannot afford generating sets, have taken to Okada and commercial tricycles,” he said.
Alhaja Kafayat Raji, a frozen food seller in Ijegun, said the electricity supply in the area had degenerated since the privatisation of the power sector.
“We were told before now that privatisation is the only way to ensure efficient power supply in the land.
“What we are witnessing now, especially in Ijegun, is a reversal of fortunes and this is not healthy for economic and industrial growth of this area.
“The development is forcing some small businesses to close down,” she said.
Mr Thomas Chukwu, a cyber café operator at Jakande Estate, said that he had lost many customers due to the poor power supply.
“We have lots of work left undone since December as a result of power failure.
“We now spend a lot of money fuelling our generators. Small scale businesses, which received a boost late last year, have started collapsing because of the inefficient power supply,” he said.
Mr Friday Dada, a barber at Jakande Estate, urged the Federal Government to urgently look into the problem.
“We all know that efficient power will be a great improvement to industrial development of a nation. We want more efforts to be put in place.
“We will be happy if the new electricity distribution companies live up to people’s expectations,” he said.
Mr Pekun Adeyanju, Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs, Ikeja Distribution Company, however, said the outage was due to faulty 60 KVA transformers at Akowonjo transmission station.
Adeyanju said that engineers from Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) were working on the transformers.
He assured the affected consumers that power supply would be restored as soon as possible. (NAN)