Kishi, Oyo state - “Power is very bad here in Kishi. It is at zero level in months. In fact, we charge with money; N200 per phone. No one can give a genuine reason for this backwardness. Imagine, this is the hometown of the deputy governor.”
These were the words of Abiola Rafiu, a middle-aged man who works in Kishi (also called Kisi) in Oyo state. His face radiates frustration as he speaks to Legit.ng.
Kishi is the headquarters of the Irepo local government area (LGA), located in the northern part of Oyo state.
It is the hometown of Abdulraheem Bayo Lawal, the incumbent deputy governor of the state.
Lawal took oath of office in July 2022.
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The town is a strong economic hub of Oyo state, and usually called the "Food Basket of Oyo state".
Farm produce like yams and guinea corn are exported to other cities like Ilorin, the capital city of Kwara state, Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, and Lagos state.
However, the poor power supply is suffocating the people of Kishi. Legit.ng reports that the situation has continued to hamper socio-economic development in the town.
Total outage in Kishi, Oyo state
Corroborating Rafiu, other residents of Kishi lamented the total outage in every part of the historic town.
Residents who spoke to Legit.ng said the development was becoming unbearable for them.
It was alleged that the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) supplies power when a very important personality (VIP) wants to hold a social function in the town, and that happens “only when huge sums have exchanged hands”.
Ademola Adedapo called for an intervention to address the stituation, stating that more businesses may pack up if the situation was not urgently addressed.
“A lot of people have closed down their businesses, Kishi people largely survive on businesses. And with the high cost of fuel currently, how do they expect businesses to thrive?
“It is already a trying time in the country, adding perpetual outage to our problem is making us lose it.”
Also speaking, a community leader in Adasobo area, Amodu Ayinla, said that the power situation in Kishi needs urgent intervention.
“Our situation is terrible now because power is a total stranger to us. Now, some business owners are opting for solar. But this is a rural area. Is it everybody that can afford it? No!”
A businesswoman, Silifat Oladiran, who also decried the situation, said although the IBEDC supplied power twice in August, it was just for approximately four minutes.
“I am using this medium to beg our deputy governor, Baba Bayo Lawal, to kindly come to our aid and ease this hardship on us.”
Challenges in the power sector
The electricity sector, which was partially privatised by the federal government in November 2013, has failed to deliver the expected improvement.
Though the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) promised to deliver at least 5,000MW to electricity consumers starting July 2022, it remained unfulfilled.
Nigeria currently has 29 power plants with a combined capacity of 13,461MW, which generated below 5,000MW for some years.
An energy expert of Kishi extraction, Segun Sanusi, advised on how the people of Kishi can have access to stable electricity.
He said the intervention of the deputy governor is very important considering he has the rare privilege of being the state’s two citizen and should be able to leave an indelible mark.
The expert also said the Oyo state government should consider collaborating with foreign partners to generate more power for the populace.
Ibadan DisCo, 10 others make N15.7bn
In a related article, Legit.ng reported that about 11 electricity distribution companies (DisCos) generated N263.08 billion in the second quarter of 2023.
This was an increase of N15.7 billion compared to N247.33 billion in the first three months of 2023.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that yearly revenue in the review period increased by 39.63% from N188.41 billion recorded in Q2 2022.