Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Electricity: Abuja residents groan over blackout

Residents of Abuja have condemned the total blackout that engulf the city over the weekend, saying electricity providers have not lived up to the purpose for which the sector was privatised.

Most parts of the FCT was thrown into total black since last Thursday as the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC, was said to have received zero allocation from the National Grid, following collapse of the national grid as at 5 a.m.

Some residents who spoke with our correspondents said the blackout further compounded an already bad situation where the power supply in the FCT has not be encouraging in recent times.

A resident, Pamela Chibuzor, said though power blackouts cannot be ruled out even in developed climes, she said those concerned should have forewarned residents to make alternative arrangements so as to avoid embarrassment.

“Although power supply is not totally perfect where I live, some of us still try to work around what is being supplied. Though power has been restored in parts of Abuja, we have been in the dark all through Thursday to Saturday.”

Another resident, Rhoda Inuwa, expressed concern over the frequent collapse of the national grid in recent times. Inuwa, who runs a sachet water factory, recalled that the country recorded two major grid collapses in April, said the situation is not encouraging for investors.

“Most times we run our business around the power supplied. It is more expensive running this business on diesel, so we observe power supply routine over a period and then process and package our water.

“Frequent black outs like this will discourage investors and therefore should be avoided.”

ADEC General Manager Corporate Communication, Mr Oyebode Fadipe, said the collapse of the national grid interrupted power supply to its franchise areas of Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger and the FCT.

Power was restored later in the night in some of the affected areas, as Fadipe confirmed that the blackout was due to the instability of the country’s grid.

He said the AEDC got as little as 20 megawatts of electricity for the most part of Thursday.

“The grid has witnessed some form of instability and this led to a severe reduction in our allocation, dropping from about 400 MW to 20 MW.

Fadipe added, “The situation, however, recorded some improvement later in the night, as more allocation was given to us from the grid.”

 

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