Famole Surulere community in Share/Oke ward of Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State has been in existence since time immemorial but they have not for once enjoyed the benefit of being connected to the national grid for their electricity supply.
For many of the residents, it has been difficult to rationalize the fact that despite being located at the heart of council area, issue of their electricity has remained a mirage after several attempts which had failed to yield any fruitful result.
The decision to turn to generators for alternative power supply for the people has however turned out to be a very expensive venture considering the expenses on fuel and maintenance of the generators.
Although the largely agrarian community has attracted people from across the country including the Fulani from North and the Igbos from the East among others, its power problem has negatively affected the local economy limiting its potentials to be an economic hub in the local government.
Community head speaks
Speaking on the issue, the Bale (Village Head) of Famole Surulere, Sule Aweda, disclosed that the ancient community has been in existence for almost 100 years and there was never a time the community was connected to the National Grid within the period under review.
According to him, the community often plays host to large number of people from different parts of the country, who participate in its weekly assemblage of market men and women.
In the same vein, Mazi Onwuesi Gabriel from Anambra State, who had spent over two years in the community, told Daily Trust that it has been like hell running his provision store on generators, adding he spends about N50,000 per month.
For a Fulani tailor, Ahmed Isa, the electricity has been a major hindrance to the economic life of the community which already boost of good road and even an MDG provided primary school.
However, the cry of the community may soon be a thing of the past following the intervention of Shaybis Nigeria Limited, a leading solar company in Nigeria.
The Managing Director of the company, Engr Tunde Yusuf Saliu, told Daily Trust that the choice of Famole Surulere was arrived following the agreement reached with the residents and after careful consideration of the economic potentials of the community which is seriously being hampered by their lack of the electricity.
“This project was started about two weeks ago and by the end of this month [April], we should be through because we want to start distribution of electricity to them this week.
“The cost of the project is N30m with a life span of about 30 years.
“We are giving them what they can’t get even in town at a relative cost of N3,000 per household monthly.
“We are hoping to serve about 30 domestic customers and 7 commercial customers comprising of 43 households.
“Although because of our cost recovery strategy, our cost may be higher as we are not subsidized in any form by anybody. The price will further be reduced as we get more people into the project,” he stressed, adding that this is the fourth project the company would be executing in the state.
The Bale thanked the private company superintending the connection of the community to solar grid and assured that the rural dwellers would stick to the agreement reached with the firm in as much as they are not going to be disappointed.
He added that the community was in dire need of water supply and public schools so as to ensure a sense of belonging, lamenting that social amenities had eluded the village.
He said, “We want to express our joy for the development coming into our community through Shaybis Nigeria Limited.
“We have not for once been connected to the National Grid not to talk to experiencing power supply.”