Ogun communities lament 100-year darkness, electricity project rots

No fewer than 53 communities in the Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, have lamented the hardship of living in darkness for more than 100 years despite a World Bank Electrification Project in the area.

The landlords, residents, and business owners, who spoke to our correspondent, said they had never enjoyed power supply since the creation of the communities.

The affected communities include Alagbada, Fayoyi, Ajegunle, Erinpa 1, Erinpa 2, Abule Babalana, Sunwa Ajegunle, Mokoya/ Ogbungiri, Abule Anila, Abule Alata, Aruku, Pakoyi, Lashilo, Oloje, Idi Iroko, Abotokio, Kajola, Kajola- Alaga, Ijaka-Isale, and Ijaka– Oke.

Others are Ile – Ijoun, Eeja, Ile-Ika, Ijale – Ketu, Iyana Agbede, Oke Odo Tobolo, Tobolo, Ibiyan, Agbefa, Okuta Gogoro, Lafenwa, Anga, Akeru agbo Ogede, Ageru Abeobi, Akeru llukan, Akeru Ajiode, Oke Igbala / Ijege, Ikotun, Ologiri, Ojumo, Igbeme, Isagba, Orile Oke Igbooro, Orile Igbooro, Abule Kuse, Iselu, Iselu-Orile, Egbeda, Ibeku, Agbon Ojodu, Kodera and Asa.

It was learnt that the project was awarded in 2007 under the National Energy Development Project through the Project Management Unit of the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

The project was expected to provide and install a 50/25 KVA pole-mounted transformer across the 53 communities with the distribution of free meters to residents.

When our correspondent visited some of the communities on Monday, it was discovered that the project was grounded.

Residents, who admitted meters were distributed to them free of charge, however, said the project was abandoned mid-way.

They insisted that the project was a facade, as they were never connected to the national grid despite erecting poles, wires, and transformers in their communities.

The Chairman of the Ibeku Community Development Association, Tolani Fagboun, said most residents depended on generators.

Fagboun said the communities had written several letters to the government, which did not yield results.

He said, “In this Ibeku, there has never been electricity, and it is not easy getting power supply since many of the residents are peasant farmers.

“We rely heavily on those that run charging businesses to power our phones and other electronics. Those that can afford generators have them in their homes.

“We have made several efforts to get the attention of the government to resolve this issue, all to no avail.

“It is over 100 years that we did not have electricity. We have never enjoyed power supply, not even for a day.”

The Adele Baale of Asaa, Kosolu Olajide, said the community and its neighbouring villages had not enjoyed electricity since their creation.

The 87-year-old community leader said the non-availability of power supply was hindering the development of the community.

He said, “I was born some decades ago, and since I have been here, we have not enjoyed electricity, not even for a day.

“When they brought this project to this community some years ago, we put our hopes on it. We know that if there is stable electricity, many of our community members that are artisans will not travel to Oja-Odan before they can establish their business.

“If we have electricity, this community and its environs will be developed.”

A welder in Agbefa community, Tunde Laoye, told our correspondent that he spent more than N3,000 daily on fuel to run his business.

Contacted, the Ogun State Commissioner for Rural Development, Jamiu Odetoogun, asked our correspondent to call back in an hour’s time.

Several calls at the appointed time were not picked and text messages sent were not replied to.

The state Commissioner for Information, Waheed Odusile, who promised to find out about the communities, redirected our correspondent to Odetoogun for further discussion.