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Lagos community threatens Ikeja Electric with N100m suit over bad transformer

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Lagos community threatens DISCO with N100m suit over bad transformer
The long-suffering transformer.

*Accusation of high estimated billings untrue; they asked to be disconnected— Ikeja Electric official

By Agbonkhese Oboh

A community in Lagos is ready to take Ikeja Electric Distribution Company, IKEDC, to court over four months of total blackout and “insensitivity to our plight after years of estimated billings.” A 22-year-old transformer is in the heart of the impending legal clash.

Meanwhile, the 500kva transformer, mounted in 1998, was the effort of landlords and tenants of Oladunmoye area of Ikotun, under Liberty Community Development Association, CDA, Alimosho LGA.

But they were just about 200 residents then. 12 years later, in 2010, load shedding began. The 13 streets of about 5,000 households now take turns getting connected to the transformer.

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“Cumulatively, we cannot boast of five days of power in a month,” Mr. Kayode Adeolokun, the Chairman of Liberty CDA and Alhaji Gbadamosi B. A., Chairman of Oladunmoye Transformer Committee, told Vanguard.

“Every now and then, the transformer breaks down. It cost us money to bring IKEDC personnel to come and repair it.

“We have written several letters. They acknowledge the letters but do nothing. And they never failed to bring bills. Given that they have refused to give us prepaid metres, the bills are estimated and very high.

“So we said enough is enough and asked to be disconnected until a relief transformer is supplied. So for over four months we have been in total darkness, with IKEDC displaying insensitivity.

“We are taking them to court in a N100 million suit.”

The last of the series of letters the CDA wrote IKEDC, dated June 24, 2020, made available to Vanguard is entitled “22 years old Oladunmoye transformer & 12 years load shedding.”

In it, the residents drew the attention of IKEDC to the issue of a relief transformer, which had dragged for years.

When Vanguard reached out to IKEDC official at their Okota office, which is in charge of the area, a member of staff, said he was very familiar with the Oladunmoye situation, said he was not permitted to speak on it.

He told Vanguard, in confidence that “we have always been in communication with the people of that area. Even brand new transformers can have issues and we have been working together on their transformer until they decided we should disconnect it entirely.

“As for the relief transformer, I can assure you that we are working on it. IKEDC has Oladunmoye as one of the next beneficiaries of a new transformer. But I can’t say when it will get to them.

“Then on the issue of billings, I wish to state that every transformer has a metre. And what it reads is what the people using it consumed. So no one can say he was over-billed.”

He promised to get Vanguard in touch with the persons to further talk on the impasse but had not done so at press time.

VANGUARD

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