From Maiharaji Altine, Gusau
Power outage has crippled the socioeconomic activities of the people of Kaura-Namoda town which is the second largest in Zamfara state.
In a press release, the Publicity Secretary of Kaura-Namoda Focus Forum, Comrade Abdurrazak Bello Kaura said, “Kaura Namoda, as the second largest city in Zamfara state has continued to remain in darkness and in economic devaluation due to incessant power outage over the years”.
Abdurrazak said “It is worthy to state that, we are helpless, uncared for, and badly treated as law abiding citizens”.
He said that, the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO) was operating as an oracle, considering the way they handled customers with impunity, more especially the people of Kaura-Namoda town.
Abdurrazak stated that, the KAEDCO neither respects their operational guidelines nor their customers, lamenting that “They are keeping us in perpetual darkness and charging us mercilessly, because we have no option due to the monopoly in electricity distribution in our area”.
According to him, “The business activities in Kaura Namoda are now in a sorry state in terms of power supply which cripples our economy and blocking chances of entrepreneurship thereby increasing the level of unemployment amongst youths and making the growing ones hopeless”.
He however acknowledged the efforts of some KAEDCO staff who were always doing their best to manage the obsolete equipment in Kaura Namoda Power Station and other Sub-Stations (e.g stepdown transformers) mostly using their personal tools and mobility.
“To buttress our points; KAEDCO supplies Power to Kaura Namoda Community once in a while mostly for 1-3 hours at the end of the month with the sole aim of getting their customers settle their Electricity Bills to avoid disconnection even when notice was not served”.
“In the case of faults (e.g falling of electricity poles, transformer faults, fuses, armoured cables etc.), KAEDCO only leaves its staff and customers to shoulder the responsibility of repairing the faulty equipment from their resources”.
He maintained that the people of the town were being billed on estimation monthly regardless of whether the power was supplied or not.
“And the least they are charging is from N4,000 and above on a household who may not enjoy the electricity supply for even five hours throughout the month”. Said Abdurrazak.
He explained that, there was a time when they were jubilating for the improved power supply, lamenting that it subsequently became a mirage.
Abdurrazak stated that the Kaura Namoda 33KVA Power sub-station is currently faulty thereby putting the community in darkness and making the operating staff to operate in more hazardous conditions.
He however blamed the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for not performing their duties as stipulated by law in Zamfara State which he said was responsible for the KAEDCO’s shoddy deals in Kaura-Namoda town.
“The NERC is saddled with the responsibility of protecting the interests of consumers, issue licenses to operators/investors, sets and reviews electricity tariffs and where possible promotes competition as its primary duty but it has failed in Kaura Namoda”.
He therefore called on the relevant and concerned authorities to come to their aid and salvage them from traumatic condition, so that they could have a sense of belonging as Nigerians.
But in a statement, the Head of Corporate Commission, Abdul Aziz Abdullahi said, the problem was as a result of low and sometimes zero allocation from the national grid and apologized to the customers for interrupted power supply.
He said, “The Management of Kaduna Electric hereby apologies to its esteemed customers in Gusau and environs over the intermittent interruption of power supply being experienced lately”.
“This is due to the low (and sometimes zero) allocation from the national grid”.
“It is pertinent to state that in the last one week, the allocation to Gusau Area Office from the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN has remained five megawatts only”.
“This is a far cry from the about 35 megawatts required to provide 12-hour services to our valued customers”.
“As painful as the situation, it should be understood that this is outside the scope of our mandate as a Distribution Company. This is entirely a TCN limitation”.
“While we are engaging the appropriate unit in TCN to ensure return to normalcy, we regretted the hardship and inconveniences caused our valued customers by this unpleasant development”.
“Once again, we sincerely apologise for the prolonged outages”.