Arepo residents storm IKEDC over 3 months power outage, outrageous billing

Residents of Arepo community, Ogun State, on Monday stormed the Head Office of Ikeja Electric Distribution Company (IKEDC), Ikeja, protesting over three months power outage and outrageous billing in the area, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The protesters, who came in their hundreds, blocked the main entrance of the office, chanting songs to drive home their grievances.

It was gathered that they carried placards with different inscriptions such as “Enough of Ikeja Electric excuses’’; “Save Arepo from Darkness’’ and “Ikeja Electric is a fraud”, among others.

Vice-President, Arepo Central Development Association, who led the protesters, Mr Nasir Salau, told newsmen that they came to register their grievances against the company.

He said the Arepo community had been without power supply in the last three months without any information from the company.

He added that the community had written several letters to the management without any response.

“Despite the outage, the management keeps bringing estimated bills to us monthly.

“We are here to tell them that ‘enough is enough’, we have brought with us letters to register our grievance.

“We will no longer tolerate outrageous billings and the management should fix our  power supply,” he said.

Also, Mr Kuti Odukunle, who represented the Arepo Business Owners, said many businesses in Arepo community were folding up due to power outage in the area.

Odukunle said companies were spending close to N300,000 monthly to power their generators as a result of the outage.

Mrs Judith Okeke, one of the protesters, said two years back, power supply was regular in the area, but things had changed since the beginning of this year.

Okeke said some private schools in the area had increased fees of their pupils on complaint of power outage.

Responding to the protesters, the Chief Executive Officer of the company,  Mr Anthony Woudea, apologised for the poor power supply.

Woudea said the residents, by coming to the company’s office, had shown that they were not satisfied with the services.

He disclosed that the company’s engineers had rectified the fault from the supply feeders and power supply had been restored to the community on Saturday.

He appealed to the protesters on the issue of prepaid meters, explaining that they had a mode of installing the meters, community after community.

He added that the installation would have reached them, but for the challenges the company was facing due to non-availability of foreign exchange.

Woudea promised that the management of the company would visit the leadership of the Arepo Community Development Association to discuss about electricity challenges in the area.