After years of unfulfilled promises and false starts, electricity supply has begun to return to Magboro and other communities in Ogun State, leaving many residents surprised as they claimed to have lost hope.
The communities including Ibafo, Mowe and Aseshe had been starved of electricity for over 10 years, a development that hampered business activities and forced some residents to relocate.
In December last year, some of the communities were connected to the national grid and supplied electricity by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc through a temporary line, as the Oke-Aro 33KV line, meant to feed the communities, was not ready for energisation.
But the residents’ excitement was short-lived as they were again thrown into a total blackout that month.
The 33KV line and the Oke-Aro 330/132/33kV transmission substation were built under the National Integrated Power Project by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited as government’s intervention.
Last week, the Managing Director, NDPHC, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo, visited Ogun State to inspect the substation and the 33KV line, which was being energised.
He said the line, which was constructed to serve Magboro, Mowe, Ibafo and others, was currently being energised by a new contractor after the initial contractor did a shoddy job.
A leader in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area, Ogun State, Mr. Jimi Olusanya, told our correspondent on Thursday that electricity supply began to return to the communities on Tuesday after 10 years of total blackout.
“There is power supply now in Magboro. But some of the transformers in the community are faulty because the light has been switched off for years. Some of our people who have prepaid meters don’t have electricity because the power distribution company needs to come and programme the meters.”
“A lot of people will be moving in and members of the communities are so happy because majority of us were buying fuel every day to power generators. The electricity came unexpectedly; we were surprised when it came. It was like a dream to many of us.”
He said with the restoration of electricity, there would be development in the communities.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Ucak (Nigeria) Limited, the new contractor working on the 33KV line, Mr. Uche Akunaeziri, said the energisation of the line was being done sequentially, adding that the job was 85 per cent completed.
“We stopped at the MFM last week. Now, we have extended to the Deeper Life and beyond. By tomorrow (Friday), we are hoping to round off work on the substation. Mowe and Ibafo are now keyed in and their part would be completed tomorrow.”
Our correspondent gathered that Ibafo, Mowe and Magboro and environs originally received supply from the 132/33KV Ojere transmission station located in Abeokuta. But as a result of the rapid development on the axis that outstretched the existing transmission and distribution infrastructure, the source of supply to them became overloaded and the regular allocated power on the feeder became inadequate.