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Worse Power Outage Hits Abuja

…Low supply, increased tariff

Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja

Inspite of claims by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) that it was poised to improve in electricity supplies in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the private electricity company over the weekend threw Abuja residents to yet a four days total darkness.

This was after Vice-President Namadi Sambo penultimate Monday assured that Nigeria now generates over 6,000 Mega Watts of electricity, up from 4,000 MW. Shortly after Dambo made the statement, AEDC threw Abuja residents to 48 hours of darkness.

Not up to a week after they restored the not more than five hours per day maximum supply of light, they took off power supply for four days in a row.

Information gathered from Kubwa, Gwarimpa, Wuse, Utako, Maitama, Nyanya, Karu, Orozo, Mararaba, Gwagwalada, Kuje and Abaji revealed that the residents have been under darkness since Thursday and as at the time of filing this report, 3.00pm Sunday, there is no hope anywhere that AEDC is working to restore light.

The constant power outage, without a corresponding reduction in unit electricity Killowats consumed by AEDC customers, is a major source of concern by the FCT residents, many of who had complained that AEDC has a dubious way of fleecing their credit purchases.

Noticing that the residents are very uncomfortable with the development, Mr. Ahmed Shekarau head, AEDC public relations unit, issued a statement in which he stated: “Dear Customer, we apologise for d drop in electricity supply to you. This is due to d drop in energy allocated to AEDC from 450MW to below 200MW recently”.

The epileptic power supply have put Abuja residents in serious confusion because most filling stations did not have fuel supply for them to purchase fuel to power their generators.

The few filling stations that have fuel supply outrightly refused to sell to people in jerry cans for them to power their small generating sets, but openly disburse the product at cut-throat prices to black market fuel operators who pay them as much as N200 per liter and sell at over N300 per liter right opposite the filling stations.

Following this, most parts of Abuja remained in darkness, except for people who have bush lanterns or people who risk using candle or other sources to provide light at their residences.

The situation is partly responsible for increased miscreant and robbery attacks as well as attendant economic loses to small scale businessmen and women.

When they took power for 48 hours less than five days ago, the AEDC said that the power interruption experienced in Abuja was as a result of tripping on three of the 60MVA power transformers at the Central Business District Transmission facility. Whatever that allegedly tripped the light was not explained.

In a statement issued then by Shekarau, head of Public Relations of AEDC, the Company said as a result of the tripping of the transformers, electricity supply to the Central Business District, Maitama, Federal High Court, Federal Secretariat, NICON, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), NNPC Towers, Wuse Zone 1-7, Utako, Jabi and adjoining areas was interrupted.

AEDC claimed that although it is the third leg in a tripod and the interface between electricity customers and other members of the electricity value chain, its ability to supply electricity to the satisfaction of its customers in any of its franchise areas is dependent on the performance of other members of the chain namely generation and transmission.

“While sympathising with its customers for the interruptions in power supply in recent times, the company called for understanding and patience on the part of the customers.

“On our part, we will continue strategically position our company by investing in our network in order to be able to take and distribute every load allocated to us by the System Operator,” the statement then disclosed.

This time, apart from the terse statement, AEDC did not provide any relief to the Abuja residents nor say whether or not this would affect bills paid by customers, which have been found to have quadrupled inspite of lessened electricity supply, even as the same Tarrif structure.

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