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Ekiti rejects TCN’s two-month power outage plan

The Ekiti State Government has rejected the planned power outage for two months—July and August.

Benin Electricity Distribution Company, earlier in a circular, informed the public, especially its customers in Ekiti and neighbouring Ondo State, of this plan.

However, Ekiti, opposing the move, stated that it amounts to an “unacceptable economic, financial, and social price to be paid by the citizens of the state.”

The government asked for the suspension of such a plan and demanded an emergency meeting with the stakeholders affected, scheduled for Tuesday, July 2 at the Ekiti State Government Secretariat.

The BEDC had, in a public notice aired on radio and other social media platforms, announced the planned outage for certain periods in July and August, PUNCH Online reported.

TCN announced its plans to carry out critical maintenance work on the 132 kV Akure-Osogbo transmission line.

Meanwhile, in a letter written by the state Commissioner for Public Utility, Mobolaji Aluko, to the MD/CEO, Transmission Company of Nigeria, Abuja, the MD/CEO, Benin Electricity Distribution Company, Benin-City, and the Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Company, Abuja, dated June 30, he said no direct notification or communication was made to the state government.

The letter was titled “Re: Notification of Power Disruption/Outage in Ado-Ekiti and Akure for two months (July, August 2024).”

“The planned disruption of electricity in these two months amounts to an unacceptable economic, financial, and social price to be paid by the citizens of Ekiti State, and we totally reject such a plan,” the commissioner said.

Reiterating that the state government is not aware, the commissioner stated that the government’s approval was also not sought.

It read further, “Our attention has been called to public notifications, both in print and in jingles in English and in Yoruba, of the intention of BEDC, under advice by TCN, to disrupt power supply to the transmission stations in Akure and Ado-Ekiti with the effect of adversely affecting Ekiti and Ondo State areas for nine hours each day (8am to 5pm) from July 1 to August 31, 2024.

“No direct notification/communication was made to the Ekiti State Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities (MIPU) on this matter, nor was approval sought and obtained from the Ekiti State Electricity Regulatory Bureau (EKSERB), saddled by law with the full authority to regulate the electricity industry in Ekiti State.

“The planned disruption of electricity for three-eighths of each day for sixty-two days, amounting to five hundred and fifty-eight hours (558) total and twenty-three days of outage in these two months amounts to an unacceptable economic, financial, and social price to be paid by the citizens of Ekiti State, and we totally reject such a plan.”

The commissioner asked for an “immediate suspension of the plan and called for an emergency meeting with the regional heads of TCN, BEDC, and NERC.

“The meeting is slated for Tuesday, July 2, in the commissioner’s office at the Government Secretariat, Ado-Ekiti.”

This is as he opined that the meeting will give room for a better alternative.

Aluko said, “The meeting would help all stakeholders devise an alternative and far less adverse plan to achieve the same stated aims.”

The TCN had announced that it planned “to carry out critical maintenance work on the 132KV Akure Osogbo transmission line and also install Optical Ground Wire (OPGW), among other activities.”

“We request prompt attention to this matter while we are eager to work collaboratively towards a sustainable solution that will benefit both citizens of the state and the Ekiti State Electricity Supply Industry. In the time being, accept our highest regards,” the letter stated.

“Customers in the affected areas will experience service interruptions during the period of the planned outages. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and kindly solicit your patience and understanding,” the TCN’s notice read.

Meanwhile, some electricity consumers in Ekiti State have described the planned outage as unacceptable and a disincentive.

Punch

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