By; Bala B. Bitrus, Minna.
The hope of Dutsen Kura-Gwari community a suburb of Minna, the Niger State capital to have power supply from the national grid restored to them may be a mere wishful thinking as there seems to be no end to their months of blackout.
Residents of the area who had expected public power supply to be restored for them during the Christmas and the New year festive periods are now downcast as the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, AEDC in the state said there is nothing it can do to have the dreams of the people actualized.The communities in Dutsen Kura Gwari have for months been in total darkness owing to its dysfunctional power transformer which has for months been moribund and out of service following overload from homes to the feeders.
Commercial and business concerns located in the areas beside residential homes, have been counting their loses as the blackout and power cut persists.
Following months of complaints and assurances by the AEDC to repair the damaged power transformers and restore power supply to the affected areas, such promises may have ended naught as barely few days to the yuletide, authorities at the AEDC office in Minna are yet to effect any repairs on the damaged transformers at Dutsen Kura Gwari.
Mrs. Janet Ibrahim a business woman and an owner of a cold room facility located in the area told our correspondent that the blackout in the area has thrown her out of business and made her a pauper over night.
However findings by the NNN revealed that the feeder transformer at Dutsen Kura Gwari had been over stretched beyond its capacity as several new residential homes and business outlets have sprang up and added to the feeder transformer leading to it’s overload and eventual collapse.
A discernible feature about the area is it’s poor urban demographic planning as new houses are built without approval from the urban planning department of the state Ministry of lands and Housing or building permit from the state Urban Development Board.
The new houses are haphazardly connected to electricity lines already captured by the old supply network thus jamming and overloading the system.
Last Tuesday’s mass protest by some youth groups in Minna against the continued epileptic power supply from the national grid and particularly against the operations of the AEDC in Niger state had forced the company to increase hours of power supply to parts of the state capital especially.
During the mass protest, the aggrieved youths had informed the Lawmakers in the state to convey their disapproval over the poor services from the AEDC to the National Assembly.
They also registered their grievances to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello and warned that refusal to improve electricity supply to the state by the AEDC could lead to unsavory action from them.
The angry protesters gave the Company, (the AEDC) an ultimatum to either restore electricity to parts of the state or face their wrath within two weeks.
Surprisingly, even before the protesters disparsed from their last port of call at the Government House, the company restored light to most parts of the state capital.
But electricity supply to Dutsen Kura-Gwari communities was short-lived. It lasted for only few hours. The main power transformer for the community went blank. It was a system breakdown.
A Journalist resident in the area told our correspondent that the transformer serving the area had been over stretched and overloaded as a result of increase in population of electricity consumers who looped onto supply lines illegally to their homes and business premises.
When contacted, the AEDC’s Regional Manager, Engr. Elisha Yakubu said his office could not do anything now to remedy the situation but assured that he had written to the Headquarters of the company in Abuja.