Kinsmen of Okonjo Iweala, Nigeria’s past Minister of Finance, are not
happy over the state of their village, Ogwashi Uku community in Aniocha
South area of Delta state, have appealed to FG to restore electricity
supply which had eluded the community for more than seven years.
Sam Obidi, who’s a member of ‘The Forum’, made the plea in an interview on Monday in Asaba.
The Forum is a body working with the Benin Electricity Distribution Company to restore electricity supply to Ogwashi-Uku,
Obidi said the economy of the area had deteriorated over time.
Obidi said that while some of the communities had been restructured and
reconnected and receiving power supply, Ogwashi-Uku, Illah and some
other communities, had been left out and every effort to reconnect these
communities remained a challenge.
He said that micro and small businesses in the communities had suffered a great setback due to lack of public source of power.
Obidi said that there was no doubt that the economy of Ogwashi-Uku
community, being host to a state polytechnic would blossom, jobs created
and criminality checked and a peaceful and secured state promoted, “if
electricity is restored’’.
According to him, computer business centres, barbing saloons, fashion
houses, welders, other operators, have suffered losses and some closed
due to the high cost of operating in the area.
He said, “Those who managed to stay with their businesses in the past
seven years have operated at higher cost and charges higher prices for
their services at the expense of the community.
“The situation here seemed hopeless as most recently repaired
transformers in Ogwashi-Uku have been vandalised in spite of the huge
sacrifices made by the stakeholders in the community.”
He said that stakeholders in the community in 2016 committed about N20m
to the contractor handling the project to fix the transformers in the
Obidi said that the delay in restoring the power by BEDC which had
insisted on metering the community had remained a major challenge.
He said, “We complained to the Nigerian Electricity Regulation
Commission, which directed that BEDC should supply electricity to the
community with or without metering.”
As it is now, life in the community is not rosy for the people. A cold
room operator, Mr. Ignatius Okobi, said he and his colleagues had no
other option than to venture into other lines of business since it had
become extremely difficult for them to operate cold rooms with power
He noted that several enterprises in Ogwashi-Uku, which depended on
electricity supply, had been forced to close down because of their
inability to cope with high costs of production.