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Help, NEPA is driving me insane

Before then, it was conjectured that we would have power every two out of three days. Nobody bothered to inform us, we were all left…

Before then, it was conjectured that we would have power every two out of three days. Nobody bothered to inform us, we were all left to simply figure it out. On the two days of our rationing, we are glad if the bulks blink cumulatively for three hours. During the interval, if you made the mistake of leaving your electrical appliances on, you are done for. You will meet a cindered carcass if you are lucky enough to meet your building intact. It’s that period again, when NEPA’s other name is arson. And for effect, NEPA is the only agency of government that has licensed itself to burn your appliances without you being able to do something about it.

Sometimes, you cannot but wonder that NEPA officials usually go to work with their wanton boys, and leave the kids to fiddle with the controls the way little children tweak computer joysticks. That too has since stopped to matter. NEPA does not give explanation for its actions. A year ago, whenever there was power supply for six hours at a stretch, don’t bother looking at the calendar, you knew that the month was coming to an end and that NEPA was supplying abundant electricity just to save the lives of its meter readers and bill distributors. That courtesy has also disappeared.

In the pitch darkness that envelopes us in Karu site when the moon aint shinning, you could picture a few block of houses behind the State House fuel dump glistening in the darkness. Its occupants are not Nigerians, they are a special breed of people who work in an amorphous place called The Presidency. The rest of us look on in utter helplessness, the way Niger Delta communities watch electricity in the compounds of oil companies only to be blighted by gas flares. Same country.

Half of bill value paid, to fulfill usual demand for proof of payment of utility bills by banks, that Wednesday according to the papers, Nuhu Somo Way asked us to brace up for higher tariffs. I ask what does it mean. Higher price for darkness? You pay through your nose to get a meter which NEPA then tells you is still their property and to wit, they even charge you a meter maintenance fee – the cheek! Way and Mr. President who is the substantive minister of power want to charge us more for making us pay vigilantes to keep their meters from being stolen and for supplying us darkness in abundance.

Personally, gauging the price I pay for getting black market petrol; the cost of servicing my gen set, the environmental impact including the noise pollution; the health hazard, doubling tariff is a lesser evil. But only if NEPA will improve on its performance and give us electric power. If they will at least treat us as customers with rights; tell us when they load shed; when snakes run into their transformers and bring blackouts – if only, as service providers, they’ll treat us as customers by putting a bulletin out to the local radio station, the newspaper metro pages etc, we would adjust our lifestyles to fit their gross incompetence. But no. once the Presidential Villa and its vassals are served, the rest of us are convicted to the elements of nature using the moon and the stars. This country wants to be among the top 20 developing nations in ten years time, and methinks we should ask China to pump in more substandard generating sets to achieve that goal. Service is what is expected from service providers, but then, this is no service provider; it’s the custodian of darkness itself, NEPA!

My last word this week is to the Minister of state for darkness, Minister sir, give us the power first and we will pay for it.

I am a PDP member but certainly not despicable! Why do Nigerian columnists use strong language? Cant you use polite language to make your emphatic points? In PDP are found many Nigerians with integrity working hard to make what positive change they can. Akunyili should be assessed on her personal integrity, just like a columnist, not because of some ad hominem stereotyping. And please watch the language…your children may want to read you too! As for the Thailand treatment I await your leadership and my red shirt!

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