Sometime in 2020, Kola Balogun, a federal lawmaker representing Oyo South Senatorial District, presented a 300KVA electrical transformer to the people of the Ashi community in the Bodija area of Oyo State.
Residents of the community said they were joyous and hoped the new transformer would end the age-long darkness bedevilling their area. But two years later, the electricity facility rots away, leaving the community with an erratic power supply.
“They only brought the transformer. It wasn’t installed,” said a community dweller leader, Iyabo Yinusa. “It’s an audio transformer.”
Mrs Yinusa’s comment mirrors the community’s resentment towards the multi-million Naira electric facility that has now been covered by growing weeds while the project signpost falls off the ground.
The N50 million electricity project
As part of his zonal intervention projects in 2020, Mr Balogun projected the installation of a 500KVA transformer and solar street lights in his senatorial district. N50 million was allocated to the project under the supervision of the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA).
Seven communities, including Fagbamila of Ibadan North-East; Oke-offa in the Babasele
area; Riverview Estate, Idi-Ishin of the Ibadan South West; Padi in the
Oke-Offa area and Aleshinloye Market were earmarked to benefit from the senator’s project.
Accurate Intercontinental Limited, Harris & Dome Nigeria LTD and Monolith Global Resources Limited — all construction companies — were contracted to supply the transformers to restore electricity in these communities after several years of darkness.
UDEME tracked the seven transformers. In three communities, Riverview Estate, Babasele and Aleshinloye Market, the transformers were installed and powered.
However, in Ashi Community, the transformer facility was delivered but was not installed, and it now rots away under a protected fence.
The three other communities, Agbokojo Community, Padi Oke-Offa, and Fagbamila Community, did not receive the facility.
UDEME probed to know why the transformer meant for Ashi was not installed.
On a visit in June, this reporter noticed that the transformer was under a protected fence. Some weeds have started growing in the fenced area, which houses the transformer, some cables and the project’s signage.
Meanwhile, residents of Ashi are lamenting the effect of the non-installation on their access to electricity. Most of them said the current transformer being used only serves an erratic supply.
A hairdresser in the community, Adebisi Esther, said the lack of regular power supply in the area has been affecting her business.
“In this area, we suffer from poor power supply. We only get light (electricity supply) once in a while. In a week, we might just have power for four hours, and in this business (hairdressing), if you don’t have generators, you won’t be able to provide some services.
Rukayat Gbadamosi, who sells food opposite the abandoned transformer, also lamented the poor power supply and further urged the distribution company to improve the power supply in the area.
“The poor power supply that we are facing in Ashi is killing our businesses. I sell food, and I need light to refrigerate my drinks and other perishable goods, but since the power condition is worse, I can’t do all of these things,” she said.
A chemist in the area, who preferred not to be mentioned, said that the gifted transformer by Senator Kola Balogun is a “wasted facility.”
She also lamented poor power supply and how residents in the area had been expending on purchasing petrol to power their generators. “Electricity is just very worse here.”
Transformer working well – project officer
The project officer Abiola Ayorinde, identified as Mr Balogun’s project officer, maintained that the transformer is in “a good working condition,” despite this reporter explaining his findings.
UDEME also contacted the supervising agency, Rural Electrification Agency (REA), for comments about the abandoned transformer facility, but calls and messages were unanswered.
Efforts made to reach the contractor didn’t yield results as this reporter couldn’t get the contact details for the company.
When contacted, the South West Zonal Head Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Wale Boyejo, declined comments on the project.
Nigerian Student Commits Suicide
A 300-level student of the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA, in Ondo state, Olona Joseph Oluwapelumi, has reportedly committed…
80-Year-Old Nigerian Journalist, Dayo Duyile, Becomes The Oldest Man To Bag PhD From UNILAG
An 80-year-old Nigerian journalist, Dayo Duyile, has become the oldest man to bag a PhD from the University of Lagos….
Leave a Reply