by Omotunde Kasali
In the first days, I will leave the light bulb on and sit by it for long hours, glued to a chair, watching the lighted bulb through unblinking eyes, in utter disbelief.
In the first months, I will auction out my kerosene stove, my rechargeable reading lamp, my coal iron, my power stabilizer, my power generator, and my step-up adapter.
Then, our president would not have to worry about a power cut at a Federal Executive Council meeting with his ministers, including the Minister of Power.
A visitor to the country would not have to worry about light going out at the Murtala Muhammed Airport on arrival.
A doctor would not have to worry about bringing a flashlight to an operating theatre before performing a surgery.
One would not have to worry about finding cold water in the refrigerator after a hectic day in the notorious traffic of Lagos.
One would not have to worry about rushing to the ironing board to iron one’s clothes or rushing to the water heater to heat up some water immediately the power comes on.
One would not have to worry about purchasing a microwave or a washing machine or an electric water heater or an electric iron or an electric stove or even a smartphone without having to consider the availability of electricity to power it.
One would not have to worry about building a house to live in and then another little house for a power generator to live in.
A newly-wedded couple would not have to worry about purchasing a generator because the fumes given off from it might cause infertility or even death through suffocation.
One would not have to worry about setting aside, monthly, 30 per cent of one’s monthly salary to purchase a generator, much less to procure fuel to power the generator or even to maintain or ‘service’ it.
Phrases like ‘Up NEPA,’ ‘Down NEPA,’ ‘Up PHCN,’ ‘Down PHCN,’ ‘Never Expect Power Always,’ and ‘Power Holders Cooperation of Nigeria’ will fade away and die from disuse.
One would not have to worry about planning a wedding or a conference or a boxing match or a party or a nightly event or a laboratory experiment or even a surgical operation without having to think first about renting a generator.
One might even not be worried about driving at night being sure in the knowledge that the streetlights won’t go out.
One might not even have worried about the increase in fuel prices due to the fuel subsidy removal, let alone protest about it or dying for it as people did.
One might not worry about purchasing a battery-powered radio on which one has to bear to listen to the information that $15 billion has been spent on power in the last decade or that $100 billion more would be needed to make electricity constant or that a remotest community is celebrating hundred years of absence of power or that the new Minister of Power has promised to make power constant in a year, or even that the radio station one was listening to became static because their power just went out.
One would not have to worry about a generator in establishing a barber shop or a cold room or a football viewing centre or a cyber café or a beauty salon—practically any business.
One might even begin to consider investing in an electric car! How wonderful will that be?
Omotunde Kasali is a writer, street photographer, and biochemist.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.