By Adeola Aderounmu
At various times I have described the Nigerian government with harsh terms. The situation remains the same.
The government of Nigeria promised to give Nigerians constant electricity power by the end of 1986. Twenty-six years later Nigerians are still living in darkness.
A cheap blackmail will be that each successive government would absolve itself of the shortcomings of the previous government. Another senseless blackmail is for the civilians to blame the military gangsters and vice versa.
But the constant truth is that every government in Nigeria, past and now, is useless and corrupt. Each government has neglected its primary roles over the years and almost no one set of corrupt politicians or tropical gangsters is better than the other in terms of providing for the populace and maintaining infrastructure.
On June 1 2013, the useless (present) government of Goodlcuk Jonathan will increase the cost of electricity and consumers will start to pay more for what is not available.
It is only in Nigeria that people pay for what is not provided.
It takes a foolish, wicked and senseless government like that of Ebele Goodluck Jonathan to increase the price of what it is not providing.
This strategy has been used in the past-with promises made and no delivery on the promises. The cost of electricity keeps going up.
This government is wicked and foolish.
What is wrong with Nigerians? Are they going to accept this nonsense, again?
I think it is time for them to emerge from their holes and push this government to the dustbin of history once and for all.
There is no alternative other than ending this murderous and repressive regime. It is the most useless ever!
By Adeola Aderounmu
The national power provider in Nigeria popularly called NEPA is probably the most useless government company or organization in Africa, if not in the world.
Power supply is almost absent despite billions of dollars earmarked for this company annually. The problem with NEPA has been treated in several essays here.
Power supply in Nigeria is worse than a nightmare.
Every Nigerian family/household now has a generator. The size, numbers and quality of your generation is even a revelation of your economic strength. Therefore generators have names and one popular one is “I pass my neighbor”. I pass my neighbor is one the smallest generators you can buy and if your neighbor doesn’t have any, definitely you are richer than him/her.
What is even worse is that you will pay monthly for electricity bills whether you have used it or not. NEPA is a government agency in Nigeria that is duping the people of billions of naira across the country everyday.
USELESS NEPA AND USELESS GOVERNMENT PROMISING END TO BLACKOUT IN 1986
Sometimes you can have electricity for 2 or 3 days only in a month, yet your bill will be on the rise. NEPA forces you to pay anyway. The option is that NEPA can “cut” your light so that you are deprived of resting your generator for those (2 or 3 days) of interrupted power supply.
NEPA is one of the biggest woes in Nigeria. Among other national calamities in Nigeria NEPA is a clear revelation of the total absence of intelligence among the evil ruling class.
Some countries in the world have had uninterrupted power supplies for hundreds of years and Nigeria cannot boast of 24 hours of uninterrupted power. Nigerian rulers are fools to the core.
What would have been more rewarding than to set a one-agenda program of ensuring that power is steady in Nigeria? Since 1999 rogues, thieves and looters have paraded the landscape of Nigeria.
They are all thieves.
Before 1999 it was the same story but things got worse under civilian looters. There is no sense in Nigerian politics and policy.
On what will the economy rest? What is the backbone of technology, science, innovations, growth and development if not constant power supply?
Several companies both big and small run on own power generations.
Those who cannot do have left Nigeria and others have packed up totally. Nigeria has about 5 to 6 generations of unemployed graduates and unemployment generally will be on the rise in the absence of power.
There are no genuine commitments from any Nigerian government to make power constant. A serious / an embarrassed government will almost invariably shed other agenda or program to ensure that power supply is constant at all cost, at any cost. Not Nigeria where fools are in power all the time. It’s a shame, a disgrace beyond human comprehension.
The kind of power supply in Nigeria does not correlate with the fact that people pay bills for electricity. By now the government of Jonathan should be so ashamed to even ask people to continue to pay NEPA bills.
The way things are in Nigeria, people should not be paying for electricity until it is constant and assuring. That much the government owed the people.
I cannot believe that NEPA and the government of Nigeria especially is still asking people to pay for what is rarely available. It is robbery and very characteristic of the Nigerian government populated by thugs and thieves from the presidency to the last man in the local council area.
In my opinion this is a great scandal and it qualifies NEPA to be the worst government agency in the world today.
By Adeola Aderounmu
ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities) is on strike
Doctors are on strike
Radio and Television (RATTAWU) workers are on strike
NEPA (National Electric Power Authority) staffs are on strike
What kind of country is Nigeria really?
It is in this same country that politicians cart away billions of naira annually by ensuring that their own exaggerated salaries, allowances, and bonuses are paid as promptly as possible. The politicians are sharing billions of naira daily through their takeaways while the rest of the population continue to struggle between thick and thin to get their own rewards for their different labours.
ASUU is fighting brain drain and the decay of infrastructure in the public Universities. ASUU has been doing that for ages and the agreement they had with the Nigerian government in 2001 is the crux of the matter in 2009. Sometimes it is very difficult to understand the real problems. For example, how can agreements made in 2001 remain unfulfilled in 2009? It’s sickening!
I am sure that the other strikes are also related to unfulfilled promises on the part of the Nigerian government. NEPA staffs are also threatening strike actions! Isn’t that funny? There is almost no electricity in Nigeria and the PHCN or NEPA staffs are planning a strike. It appears that they know something that the rest of us don’t know. We’ll see where this takes us next.
The bottom line is that I see a government or successive governments devoid of both mission and vision. A delusionary government that wants to be one of the top 20 nations in 2020….someone should tell the rulers to shut their mouths and stop deceiving themselves. In 2020 the government will be looking at 2050. This can only be prevented through drastic changes in government attitudes and drastic measures that will promote sincerity of purpose and visionary leadership.
As the country remains in paralysis mode, the current emphasis is now how to capture government houses in 2011. Two years to the next election, evil plans have already been laid to rig elections and once again ensure that the votes are not counted.
INEC has not been restructured and the important recommendations of the election committee have been set aside to continue to ensure that autocracy is the norm rather than democracy.
Nigeria is not yet a serious country. When she is ready, first she will fight corruption and get rid of it from her system. Second, she will arrest and jail corrupt men and women and thirdly, she will lay the foundations for strong democratic structures.
Starting from the top, Nigerians need to be re-orientated on how to build a strong and vibrant nation. Surely selfishness, corruption, election rigging and looting are not parts of the prerequisites that will determine the 20 biggest economies in 2020.
Certainly an inactive, illegitimate and non-vibrant leadership is a big minus for a sleeping giant of sub-Saharan Africa. Pity!
By Adeola Aderounmu.
The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has threatened to go on strike if Umaru made good his promise to declare a state of Emergency (SOE) in the power sector. Now, this is Nigeria at work.
Unless my interpretation is wrong, this should mean that NEPA workers are threatening to go on strike? It is possible that ninety-nine percent of Nigerians do not have electricity in their homes while these men and women are at work at NEPA or PHCN. What then shall we miss if they go on strike? Can it be worse than now that cockroaches and rats breed safely in our second–hand Ojuelegba deep freezers?
In fairness to the Electricity Workers the problems in the power sector is out of their control or human resource capabilities. The problems have more association with the general negligence and mis-governance perpetrated by the leadership at the centre over the past four decades. The various looting governments have betrayed the masses while amassing wealth to themselves. In Nigeria, there is nothing like maintenance culture or improvement of the states of infrastructure.
Looters and thieves like Abacha, Buhari, Babangida, Abdulsalami and Obasanjo are big parts of the reasons why NEPA became an extremely miserable statutory body. The NUEE is taking the issue of the SOE very seriously and the union representatives have challenged Umaru in a way that one cannot ignore.
They are of the opinion that Umaru knows nothing about the problems in the power sector. In another way, one can postulate that if Umaru knows the problems he is pretending he doesn’t by looking the other way.
From the 2008 oil windfall, Umaru’s government is planning to spend a fresh $5bn in fixing the electricity problem. What about getting back the billions from Obasanjo and his gangs who pocketed several billions in the last decade while pretending to be working on the problem?
What will be the implication of a declaration of SOE in the power sector? How will that translate to improved power supply for the helpless masses that do not have the same privilege or opportunity as the high and mighty residing in the Maitama District of Abuja?
In NUEE words: if the government can take the supply level to 50, 000MW there will be a substantial improvement in the supply of electricity to Nigerians. This is a very powerful statement and a very serious indictment of the federal government. Has it been a deliberate wickedness that power supply in Nigeria today is below 2, 000 MW? Who or what is responsible for the dismal supply that we have today?
There are certain individuals and establishments today in Nigeria that would never wish for any improvement in the power situation. They are smiling to the bank daily as they make good money from selling generators to the helpless masses. Of course, this story is not new but one can only imagine that the recklessness in the oil sector has spilled to the generator business. In Nigeria personal interests have continued to override national interests. What a shame?
The NUEE went ahead to inform Nigerians that the SOE in the power sector will not change anything in Nigeria. They also have words for the prayer warriors of Nigeria. You can pray and fast for as long as you want to but if this government does not build power stations, nothing will change and declaring a state of emergency is not the way to go about it either. Sadly, it takes 3 years before a power station can be completed and functional.
If NEPA workers in present day Nigeria go on strike they will probably not be missed. Instead the people will be happy that there will be no electricity bills for the power supply that they didn’t get in the first place. So for their own good NUEE should drop the threat and await the implications of the SOE that Umaru has up his sleeves.
Who knows? Part of the $5bn may be used to settle their salaries arrears and to effect payment of future salaries. This might be the year they have also been praying and fasting for! A year and a new era when they don’t have to use false billings to supplement their pay package!
We shall all see if this SOE implies the prosecution of the saboteurs in the power sector. Will it mean an end to some individuals and companies making profits at the expense of the downtrodden masses? We will get to find out how Umaru will improve the power supply by building new power stations or upgrading the existing ones to maximum output/ efficiency.
With a declaration of SOE in the power sector imminent, Nigerians who have been paying for the power that is not available will be anxious to know if the hopes that they have kept alive over the years will finally payoff or not. On this matter, NEPA or NUEE should have a little patience with Umaru just as the rest of us have done with NEPA over the years.
I am not a fan of Umaru at all (because I will not forget that he was imposed illegally on Nigerians by Obasanjo) but in the absence of any choice at this moment and in the presence of our overstretched resiliency I am very keen on what SOE means in the power sector.
If the effects will be magical in less than 3 years that is required to build a functional power station, then I would argue that SOE should be declared on Nigerian roads, housing system, educational system, health system, anti-corruption system, socio-welfare system, political system and the scandalous electoral processes among other grossly neglected aspects of our difficult lives.
If the whole shout of SOE is another sham then I’ll never forget how a battling Umaru became part of our shameful history in the first place.
By Adeola Aderounmu
The Festac Town Resident Association (FTRA) has sent out a circular in which the body instructed residents of Festac Town not to pay the NEPA/PHCN* bills starting from May 2008. The reasons stated for this line of action are as follows:
* Lack of electric meter reading by NEPA
* Extortion through estimated coded and crazy bills
* Epileptic power supply
* Refusal of NEPA to install pre-paid meter to Festac Town Residents
* Failure of Festac Town NEPA District Business Manager to improve on the power supply and to facilitate the installation of pre-paid meter to Festac Town Residents as promised by him
* Failure of NEPA to respond to the letter written by the Resident Association to Eko Zone Chief Operation Officer for dialogue
The Resident Association thereby advised Festac Town Resident not to pay NEPA bills with effect from May 2008 until further notice.
The problem of power supply in Nigeria is now a national embarrassment. Nigeria generates exceedingly less power that she needs. Almost every home and business in Nigeria now thrives on the use of own power generators and various types of loud machines contributing endlessly to both noise and air pollution. In a nut shell, the power situation in Nigeria is a monumental disaster.
Rather than finding ways to ameliorate the sufferings of the masses in this area of gross social neglect, successive (and disruptive) regimes in Nigeria have done almost nothing in the positive direction to take the bull by the horns. Instead, the power sector in Nigeria has prevailed as one of the most corruption-ridden segments of the society.
One year after Umaru was illegitimately bundled to the realm of political power, the electric power situation has gone from worse to worst. The scenario clearly indicates that Umaru and his gangs have no idea of what the electric power sector in Nigerian entails. Indeed, almost 365 days since this wrong government emerged, there are no clear indications of its vision or mission.
Festac Town residents are not alone in this suffering; all the masses in Nigeria are experiencing similar fate. Endless blackouts and extreme frustration is the order of the day. The neglect in the power sector affects us at home and it also plays a significant role in the unemployment situation.
In present day Festac Town, it seems that the availability of electric power is almost entirely reduced to personal generators. This means that the power supply from NEPA is virtually non-existent. It is true that cockroaches now thrive in units that are supposed to serve as refrigerators and freezers. It also cost more than N6 000 per month to procure fuel to run your power generating unit if you live in a 2-bedroom flat.
It is not clear if this struggle by the FTRA will succeed or not. In Nigeria the masses have been rendered powerless and voiceless. Indeed, they always end up suffering more in the end than at the beginning of the struggle. In a persistent fashion, one can pessimistically predict that in the end, NEPA will make Festac residents to crawl on their knees. It always happens like that at the individual level.
It is not a secret that salaries of NEPA workers are paid from the estimated and crooked bills that they extort from their fellow Nigerians. But if all the residents of Festac (the common people that is) find a common rhythm this time and if everyone plays to the tune/ dictate of the Residents’ Association, there might just be a chance to change the pattern. A change must always begin from somewhere or someone.
But how long can the people go without paying bills? Would they not end up accumulating unpaid bills in the end? If the power situation improves, how will reconciliation of the billing system and the severed relationship with the district NEPA be mended?
I still have hope in Nigeria but I have a problem on whom to address my suggestions. Almost all the politicians in Nigerian got to power through crooked means and they remain unaccountable to the people. Many of them are very busy every weekend jumping from one wedding to another. Several of them simply do not comprehend what serving the people entails. They preferred to be served. In general, governance in Nigeria remains at a level simply devoid of purpose.
A few days ago, some Nigerians were almost in tears as they expressed fears and anxiety over the announcement by the Umaru led government that the tariff on electricity will be increased. As one citizen puts it, “we are paying for electricity that we don’t use and still they want to increase the tariff, it is wickedness”. Indeed, it is only a wicked and a heartless government that will increase the cost of what is not available!
*The use of NEPA instead of PHCN is deliberate.
Acknowledgement: Useful information from Abayomi Efosa Omoruyi.
Thy Glory O’ Nigeria…!
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