By Olanrewaju Adesanya
The Lagos State House of Assembly has tasked the Electricity Distributing Companies within the Lagos territory, to be more humane in the discharge of their statutory duties,ensuring lagosians enjoy considerable power supply,within and after the COVID-19 pandemic period.
This charge was made through a Joint Committee of the House constituted by the Speaker,Rt Hon.Mudashiru Obasa to make an oversight visit to the two Distribution Companies; EKO and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company in order to fine tune means through which people can get power supply, while they comply with the stay at home directives in place.
The Joint Committee which comprise of House Committee on Energy and Mineral resources and that of Information,Security and Strategy was headed by Hon.Folajimi Mohammed with the mandate to visit the distribution networks (DISCO)in Lagos state.
Speaking after the visit,the Joint Committee Chairman Folajimi Mohammed appraised the situation, which necessitated the visit as peoples comfort need be guaranteed while observing the stay at home order through steady power supply.
“During the COVID-19 period we have seen that there is an order for a lockdown, and this has caused a lot of discomfort to our constituents,to this end we were asked to come and visit the DISCOs and find out issues as to why there has been insufficient supply of electricity to most parts of Lagos State.
“One thing was pertinent about the meeting, which was that they had accepted and admitted the flaws however, we need to look at this holistically that there are different value chains within the sphere of the departments, so at some point we can’t necessarily put most of the blame on the DISCOs which is what has been said.
“However, what we have asked that they do is to give us a road map as to how they want to ensure they would have more effective distribution to the people.
” The orientation to the people and also the relationship with the members of the Lagos State House of Assembly need be emphasized as they are representatives of the people and would be able to communicate to the constituents at home as to development .
” I am glad that Ikeja DISCO has honour that request saying that they would appoint people who would directly relate with us at the House of Assembly for onward transfer to our constituents.
“We can’t but appeal to our constituents to be calm this time around,we understand these are tough times and from the reports and what we have been shown they have actually generated almost on the top of their capacity if not more,however they still have challenges which are the Infrastructure so we need to understand that without those infrastructure in place most things would not be able to be done.
“So I would only try to appeal to the people and all constituents to kindly bear with them as they have been looking at the best way to profer solutions to this hardship.
Hon. Tunde Braimoh the house Chairman on Information,Security and Strategy in his own submission after the parley noted that it is of essence for the general public to own the available infrastructures as the energy theft is causing people a lot of needless stress.
“Government is about the people we are not just there for aggradisement or grandstanding of being in government,we must be purposefully useful and effective to the people that we serve.
“The supply of electricity power is one of the basic yearnings of our people because electricity remains the most important innovations of humanity in the last one thousand years and nobody can joke with the importance of electricity.
That is why we have to come out to interact with the EKODISCO having inundated with a series of complaints about; no electricity supply,excessive billings,outright disconnection and all of that and we need to be more sympathetic or empathetic rather to the plight of the people in this pandemic situation because people cannot go out to work,economic power is low and of course staying at home too should be as comfortable as possible and without electricity that will be a mirage.
That’s why we are out here to interact with the Managing Director of EKODISCO and we have had a very useful discussion with him.
“He had been able to let us know what efforts they have been doing and I can say by and large they have been very altruistic and public spirited in their mode of operation. I just need to appeal to our people to understand them because they too have a lot of limitations.
The Commissioner for Energy and Mineral resources Mr Olalere Odusote who was present at the two parleys enjoins Lagosians to comply with the stay at home side
order and remain safe,assuring that all their issues with power supply are been handled seriously by the state government.
“The people should be rest assured that the state government would continue to work with the electricity distribution companies,to ensure that their power supply is not adversely affected by any actions that the government is taking during the pandemic,especially due to restriction of movement.
“Electricity companies are committed to continue in carrying out their services as well as they have been carrying it before the pandemic .
“The Lagos state government will continue to support the distribution companies,Lagosians are enjoined to stay at home, if you don’t have any essential business outside of your home,stay at home because the more you stay the less likely it is that you could contract or be infected with any COVID.
“Lagosians are urged not to worry about electricity supply because that is being taken care of as well as it was before the COVID and perhaps even better.” Said Odusote .
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer EKODISCO Mr.Adeoye Fadeyibi, gave a clear cut view of how things are in the sector urging people to know that they are also with them in the situation at hand.
“I think estimated billing itself is something that is pressure on the system as a whole,so I think one of the things that we have done significantly which you can see is the ramp up metering. “The MAP initiative has been a good thing and try and just increase the number of meters that we install into the system to close the gap.
“Now keeping that in mind it is also important,I have seen that Lagosians like to have the right information so when you look at it and look at our customer base it is probably more than 80 percent that has been metered already so when you look at the remainder that we have is to continue to try and get this metering in place and also to get the distribution transformers metering done.
” So that we can account for the energy,the idea of estimated billing if I understand what the people are saying is that look I want to pay for the exact energy that I use,which means we need to account for it.
“Aside that we need to reduce the amount of energy theft,we have in the system so that we don’t bill other people for the energy consumed by another person.
The Chairman Ikeja Electric Mr Kola Adesina,appreciated the fact that the lawmakers think of the vulnerables and poor masses in the society,while counselling the government to concentrate resources on most important projects which have direct bearing on the lives of the people.
“Seeking solution for life during and after COVID is quite commendable, as an organisation we are quite aligned with the Honourable members and we would do everything humanly conceivable to ensure that not only we have light but we have light in a steady manner.
“The charge is energy will be made available but more importantly we would want them to conserve that energy, when you are not using any appliances please switch them off,that way you preserve the electricity but if you go beyond what you require and start to use electricity beyond your need then you are likely to cause system failure and the feeder will trip and you won’t have electricity.
“So wherever you are not in the room or the house please switch off. So that light can be made readily available to Majority of our people.
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