Residents of Lekki Phase 1 in Eti Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State are expressing frustration over unreliable power supply, which they describe as epileptic supply.

According to interviews conducted with journalists on Wednesday, March 27, residents have been struggling with inconsistent electricity for over five years.

They noted that the situation has worsened since the beginning of the year, attributing it to a lack of investment by the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC).

Residents, such as Chief Theodore Oniopaku, lamented the dire circumstances, citing instances where they barely receive 30 minutes of electricity per day and sometimes endure up to 18 days without power in a month.

Oniopaku emphasized concerns about potential unrest, recalling past incidents during the End SARS protests, and highlighted the financial strain on retirees living on pensions.

Oniopaku, said, “(The situation) is really bad because we’ve not been having constant light. We’ve been trying to avoid protests because we don’t want a situation where hoodlums will hijack it like what happened during the end sars.

“But it seems no one is attending to our plight, some of us are retirees, we are living on pensions. How can we afford a litter of diesel at N1,600 per litre? We have retired justice and serving one in our midsts. How much are we earning in a month?”

A retired Justice, Eniola Oluokun stressed these sentiments, noting a six-year struggle with poor power supply in Lekki Phase 1.

Oluokun advocated for independent power supply solutions for the area, criticizing EKEDC’s lack of financial capacity and technical expertise to address the issue effectively.

He stated, “Lekki phase 1 residents should be on the Independent Power supply, it occupies Nigeria’s heartbeat and future destinations for holiday fun seekers. Most young Nigerians who are visiting Nigeria from abroad prefer to stay in Lekki Phase 1.

“But unfortunately, I don’t think EKEDC has the financial capacity and technical expertise to provide electricity in Lekki Phase 1.

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“Some of their equipments are old and obsolete. If there is a fault with their equipment, it takes them five to six days to fix it leaving the whole estate in the dark. Our neighbours in the same vicinity, Banana Island who are using the Independent Power plant are having constant light, but we are lacking light. It’s a very painful situation.”

Another resident, who is also a retired civil servant who preferred anonymity, blamed past governments, citing a particular political party, for the collapse of the power generation in Nigeria.

He pointed to corruption and lack of transparency during the power privatization process as contributing factors.

He said, “The corruption in the power sector where trillions of Naira were diverted to private accounts and lack of transparency during the power privatisation contributed immensely to the collapse of our power generation. If the government refuse to address these two monsters, Nigerians must not expect power soon”

It may be recalled that the residents’ frustration has once led to legal action against EKEDC after failed promises and discrepancies in billing.

In April 2022, Lekki residents petitioned the presidency, represented by Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari MFR, seeking intervention to compel EKEDC to provide adequate power supply comparable to other affluent areas like Victoria Island, Ikoyi, and Banana Island.

As of that time, Mogaji Bowale Arisekola a resident and media consultant for the estate, highlighted grievances over high-end user tariff plans that promise a minimum of sixteen hours of electricity daily but deliver only six hours.

He estimated potential damages of N10 billion to N15 billion from EKEDC’s shortcomings and also urged affected estates to seek legal recourse.

Arisekola said, “It is a case of accepting money under false pretext, which is in section 419 in the Nigeria penal code. The whole of the Lekki Phase 1 estate no longer wants to have anything to do with EKDC again. They are tired of paying for darkness.

“The tariff they put us on is for a minimum of eighteen hours in a day and we are getting less than six hours. We have enough grounds to approach the court of law to demand our fundamental rights.

“We are looking at a damage of N10 billion to N15 billion from EKDC and the court order barring EKDC from disturbing the Independent Power supply engaged by the estate. EKDC’s excuses are no longer acceptable to us anymore in the estate.”

However, despite previous attempts by EKEDC to address customer complaints, including the inauguration of a Customers’ Complaint Unit in Lekki, residents remain dissatisfied with the quality of service.