Dolapo Aina: Still celebrating the New Year without NEPA

by Dolapo Aina

NEPA wahala

The reader might wonder if this writer is livid (trust me; you don’t want to know what I have realised), but no crony or Hallelujah yeoman (or rather yeoboy) should table official excuses for an increasingly aware electorate.

The time is 10.28am and as I pen this piece; I haven’t experienced a service which isn’t freely given to the citizens of Nigeria-Power. 8 days into the New Year; into an election year; this part of the city of Lagos (between the Lekki and Chevron axis) seems not to be on the radar of PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria) which is still commonly referred to as NEPA (National Electricity Power Authority).

I had to pen a similar piece within the first week of 2014-HAPPY NEW YEAR WITHOUT NEPA. What struck me during the 4th day of this absence of basic electricity was/still is the fact that; this same dilemma was experienced by this writer exactly a year ago. Same situation in January 2014 and January 2015? This can only mean one thing (I leave you to deduce my thoughts; considering the fact that a lot of Nigerians can dig up newspapers of the 80s and 90s with screaming headlines of promises of 24hour uninterrupted power supply). One is tempted to conclude that “24hour uninterrupted power blackout” is now the norm.

A norm which should not be accepted for it is utterly abnormal. A childhood friend of this writer informed me that at his billionaire father’s palatial abode; 30,000 Naira worth of diesel is spent daily. About 250,000 a week. About 1 million (cool Naira) a month on diesel. Though, the money isn’t the issue but according to him, they could make better use of this handsome and pretty sum. Now, not many people can afford to spend even 250,000 Naira on diesel monthly. It would appear, Nigerians live on diesel. An absurdity which a lot of Nigerians and especially young Nigerians think is normal. I had to ask more privileged upper class business individuals who shuttle between Nigeria and overseas; if they experienced 24 hours of uninterrupted power supply for a day. The general answer was a no. One top oil and gas official had to really think to give me No as an answer. Have you noticed that when Nigerians travel overseas, they unintentionally tend to do home chores (especially ironing clothes) at odd houses?

If African countries like South Africa can boast of over 70,000 Megawatts (and can still sell to neighbouring countries) and Rwanda can sort out power supply (as this writer experienced with 6days of uninterrupted power supply while there), then this country has no excuse. Actually, the only experiences of 24 hour uninterrupted power supply this writer experienced in 2014 weren’t in my own country. (Can you believe that and you wonder what the leaders of this giant are up to?)

The reader might wonder if this writer is livid (trust me; you don’t want to know what I have realised), but no crony or Hallelujah yeoman (or rather yeoboy) should table official excuses for an increasingly aware electorate. Excuses are the verbal swords of unsecure, unfocused, purposeless lazy leaders. The more enlightened Nigerians become; the more we see the light.

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Dolapo Aina tweets from @DolapoAina.

 

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail