By Akoma Chinweoke
Small and medium enterprises owners, under the aegis of Association of Shop Owners in Sura Business Complex, Lagos Island, have expressed their desire to opt out of the service of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), in protest against erratic power supply in the area.
The aggrieved business owners, led by their Chairman, Mrs. Bunmi Ajayi, said they were tired of poor electricity supply and crazy bills forced on them by EKEDC. “ We are small business people and electricity is crucial to our businesses . Initially, we had about 1047 shops in Sura Business Complex but due to poor power supply, it has been reduced to 500 shops which runs on generators daily thereby exposing the traders and customers to serious environmental and health hazards”, they stated.
The group therefore said they its members resolved to get power supply from an independent power project (IPP) firm in order to save their businesses from total collapse.
To drive home their point, the traders displayed placards with inscriptions such as, “EKEDC is from public monopoly to private monopoly’, ‘Sura Association says No to EKEDC,’ ‘We want IPP,’ ‘Stop EKEDC exploitation, IPP rescue us,’ ‘Regular power supply is an illusion under EKEDC’, ‘We are tired of an epileptic power supply,” among others.
It was alleged that EKEDC frustrated the resolution of the association to opt out of its service; a move which led to the protest.
The Chief Executive Officer, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Adeoye Fadeyibi, who received a letter from the protesters where the demand of the association was stated, promised to give the matter the desired attention.
He however, urged the traders to be rightly informed before taking any decision, adding that all distribution companies are regulated centrally and had no intent to exploit or oppress its customers.