‘Funding Undermines Rural Electrification in Lagos Border Communities’


Gboyega Akinsanmi

At least N12 billion would be required to address the power outage currently experienced in Epe Local Government and other border communities in the eastern axis of Lagos State.

A member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Olawale Raji, representing Epe Constituency, disclosed this during his First Town Hall meeting with residents of his constituency, in Epe.

Raji lamented that the communities have been in blackout for years without any respite from the Central Government. He said the erratic power supply in Epe and its environs had negatively affected the socio-economic life of the people.

THISDAY recalled that the contract was reportedly awarded by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in December 2010, through its 10 GW Grid expansion plan, to KEC Construction Company Ltd, but it was abandoned.

The lawmaker argued that the paramount thing to the residents of Epe Federal Constituency comprising of Epe, Eredo, Agbowa, Ejirin and other communities, was power supply. He stated that the 33KV line from Egbin Terminal substation, which was the only source of power supply to the communities, often breaks down.

“”The permanent solution to the current power supply challenges in Epe and others is for the Omotosho Independent Power Plant (IPP) supplying electricity to this axis to become operational.

“The contract to rehabilitate the project had been awarded by the Federal Government since 2012. Thirty per cent of the total fund; mobilisation was paid to the contractor. But months after, the work was abandoned.

‘I spoke to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on the issue and he planned to embark on it but after investigation, he realised that the State does not have the money to fund such project.

“The fund needed is over N12 billion. And that was why I have not stopped visiting the Minister of Housing, Power and Works, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, the immediate past governor of the state, to demand the progress made on the project,” he added.

The lawmaker argued that the continued blackout experienced in the communities was further causing poverty among the residents of Epe and its environs. He said “that was why we decided to embark on various training and empowerment poverty programmes especially for the youths.

“And, we have trained 129 youths in various skills, which will give them the opportunity to commence work immediately and edge over their peers in other axis,” Raji added.