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FCT residents lament month-old power blackout

While some parts of the Territory are supplied power for some hours, some areas have not even had it for five consecutive days

Many residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have continued to count their losses following the power blackouts in most parts of the Territory.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that while some parts of the Territory are supplied power for some hours, some areas have not even had it for five consecutive days.

The poor power supply or blackouts in some parts of the Territory had lingered for more than a month.

The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) had attributed the poor supply of electricity to its franchise areas to low power generation from the national grid.

Mr Donald Etim, the AEDC Chief Marketing Officer, had said this in a statement issued in Abuja on March 4.

“The AEDC wishes to inform our customers in Kogi, Niger, Nasarawa and the FCT that the current low and unstable supply of electricity to homes and businesses is as a result of low power generated to the national grid.

“In recent weeks, the level of power generated and served to the national grid for onward delivery to customers has been abysmally low,” Etim said.

The development had led to load shedding in the affected areas.

Electricity consumers residing in Lugbe, Kuje, Area10, Central Area, Kubwa told NAN in Abuja on Sunday that the poor power supply had affected their sources of income as well as their health.

Miss Esohe Omohe, a Fashion Designer said that in the last two months, the power situation had worsened thereby, affecting her business.

Omohe said that the fuel scarcity had worsened the situation as she could not get fuel to power her generator.

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According to her, most fueling stations have refused to sell jerry cans.

“There is no light, no fuel, the situation is terrible and we are appealing to the Federal Government for quick intervention before people die of hunger,” she said.

Mrs Uche Okoro, an Ice block seller described the light situation as “bad and worrisome’’.

Okoro said that the electricity supply was not as regular as it used to be in the past, saying that the power supply had been epileptic for more than a month.

According to her, the beer parlour I am operating to assist my family is no longer thriving as most nights there is no light to power the freezers to cool drinks.

“ I am appealing to the management of AEDC and the Federal Government to do something urgently about this so we can get some respite,’’ she said.

In Jedo Estate on Airport Road, a welder, Innocent Okpara, said lack of stable electricity supply in the area had continued to affect his work, saying that he now depends only on the generator to do his job.

He said that the electricity situation in the area had worsened in the last two months and this had adversely affected his income.

“As you can see, these doors and windows I am making are for my customers, if there is steady power supply, I will be able to deliver and earn some income.

“Even when there is light, it hardly lasts up to two hours and we understand there is load shedding currently ongoing.

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“We are appealing to the AEDC to give us light at night even if it is for four hours, as we have not slept with light for more than three weeks,’’ he said.

Mr Joseph Okiri, a dry cleaner poor electricity supply had affected his business terribly.

Okiri appealed to the government and management of AEDC to urgently address electricity situation.

Mr Jude Omokhua, a barbing saloon owner in Kuje said lack of stable electricity supply had always been his major challenge.

Omokhua said that the most annoying thing was that there was no fuel to power his generator, adding that inspite of the situation, AEDC officials still brought electricity bills that must be settled.

Mr Shola Balogun, a printer at UTC Shopping Mall at Area 10, said the poor power supply had crippled business activities in the area.

“I do a lot of printing, but presently there is no electricity to work, no fuel to power my generator, I am appealing to the government to come to our aid as we are really suffering,” Balogun said.

NAN recalls that the Minister of Power, Mr Abubakar Aliyu had recently at a ministerial briefing said that the erratic power supply being experienced nationwide was caused by low water level in the hydro power stations.

According to him, with the reduction in water levels at the hydro power stations during the dry season, there is the need for additional load to be taken up by gas plants.

“The challenges in repairs currently being done on generators are responsible for the load shedding and power outages,’’ he said.

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According to him, the government is doing everything to ensure optimum supply of gas to ensure quick restoration of power.

The minister, who spoke on various power initiatives by the ministry, including the Presidential Power Initiative being driven by Siemens, maintained that the issue of right of way was stalling power projects.

“We are engaging with state governors through the Nigerian Governors Forum to drive a holistic solution to these lingering issues,” he said.

According to Aliyu, the attention the power sector is receiving under President Muhammadu Buhari administration is unprecedented.

“Since the inception of the present government, it has turned its attention to our infrastructure and the attention this government is giving in my own view, is unprecedented.

“The enormity of the decay in the sector is what we are battling with to ensure we overcome challenges associated with electricity delivery in the country,’’ he said.