Kaura Namoda, the second-largest city in Zamfara, has continued to remain in darkness and economic deprivation due to incessant power outages over the years.
It is worthy to state that we are helpless, uncared for and badly treated as law-abiding citizens.
The Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO) is operating as an oracle considering the way they handle customers with impunity, more especially our community, with neither respect to their operations guidelines nor to their customers. They keep us in perpetual darkness and charge us mercilessly, because we have no option due to the monopoly in electricity distribution in our area.
KAEDCO supplies power to Kaura Namoda community once in a while mostly for one to three hours (usually at the end of the month) with the sole aim of getting their customers settle their electricity bills.
As a business hub, Kaura Namoda is now in a sorry state in terms of power supply which has crippled our economy and is blocking chances of entrepreneurship thereby increasing the level of unemployment amongst youths and making them hopeless.
However, to be fair, we need to acknowledge the efforts of some KAEDCO staff who are always doing their best to manage the obsolete equipment in Kaura Namoda Power Station and other sub-stations (e.g step down transformers) mostly using their personal tools and mobility.
The company has left customers and some of its staff to shoulder the responsibility of faults such as fallen electricity poles, faulty transformers, fuses, armoured cables, among others from their resources.
We are billed monthly (mostly estimated) regardless of whether the power is supplied or not. The least any customer is charged is N4,000 even though he may not enjoy up to five hours of electricity in a month.
There was a time, early this year, when we were jubilating of improved power supply but that was short-lived. At present Kaura Namoda’s 33KVA power sub-station is faulty thereby putting the community in darkness while the staff operate in more hazardous conditions.
One may wish to ask, who is responsible for regulating the activities of the power distribution companies (DisCos) in Nigeria? The answer here is, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). The next question is: Do they perform their duties as stipulated by law in Zamfara State? Well, we are yet to see their impact or ascertain if they even exist.
NERC is saddled with the responsibility of protecting the interests of consumers, issuing licenses to operators/investors, set and review electricity tariffs among other duties. However, for those of us in Kaura Namoda, we will boldly say they have failed in executing their primary duties.
In view of the above, we are calling on the relevant and concerned authorities to come to our aid and salvage us from these traumatic conditions, so that we can have a sense of belonging as Nigerians.
Abdulrazak Bello Kaura is the Publicity Secretary, Kaura Namoda Focus Forum