The Lagos State House of Assembly, on Monday, constituted an Ad hoc Committee to intervene in the prolonged issue between the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) and the Gbopa community in Ijede Local Council Development Area of Ikorodu Division area of Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria, which has been without electricity for 7 years.
According to the House, the committee will engage the Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company and the Gbopa community, on the matter.
The matter was raised during the plenary session under, ‘Matters of Urgent Public Importance’, by Hon. Moshood Aro, the representative of Ikorodu Constituency I, who noted that Gbopa and Egbin have been at loggerheads over ownership of land.
He alleged that Egbin Power Plant used her sister company, IKEDC, to disrupt electricity supply to Gbopa community.
“This has affected the livelihood of the residents and crumbled the economic activities in the area”, Hon. Aro said.
Speaking with THE IMPACT on the matter, Aro said that he had intervened in the matter, but all to no avail, hence the reason the issue was brought before the House.
Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, in his contribution, described the situation as bad and unacceptable.
“It is bad enough that they don’t have power, but from 2016 till today is seven years and as a business, you should be concerned that your customers don’t have power. To me, that is callous and wicked. It is a government policy for citizens to have social and economic rights”, he said.
“My colleague has come here to make a request and if it is possible, a committee can be set up to look into it”.
On his part, Hon. Ogundipe said:
“I am concerned about this issue and as of today, every community is facing one issue or the other about IKEDC”, he said.
“I know power has been delegated to them, but they behave like they can do and undo. Communities are being forced to pay for cables, transformers and it is high time to call IKEDC to find out what their position is”.
Hon. Abiodun Tobun sympathised with the community for being in darkness for so long.
“We appreciate Hon. Aro Moshood who is able to put this before us. It is unfortunate that the IKEDC has taken powers into their hands that the community is in darkness for seven years.
“IKEDC doesn’t have land anywhere unless given to them by the government. I concur with my colleagues”, he said.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, who presided over the plenary, said that the situation with the Gbopa community is unacceptable, while also calling for lasting solution to the issue of accumulated bill.
“It is not something we can take a position on immediately. It is a painful thing denying the community for seven years. It is totally unacceptable”, Hon. Obasa said.
“I agree that a committee should be set up. Beyond that, we have realised that there are situations where a leased tenant moves away from a property and the bill accumulated would be put on a new tenant, this matter should also be looked into too.
“We must address these issues once and for all. We will set up a committee to look and engage the IKEDC, so that we can get to the root of the matter and find a lasting solution. Prepaid metre is still the solution; if you pay you get power and if you don’t pay, you will not get it”.
IKEDC is yet to respond to our reporter’s message on the matter as at the time of going to the press.