For a very long time, most parts of Ekiti State have been in total darkness, especially the Irewolede Housing Estate in Ado-Ekiti, Oyo State capital.
Anytime the night approaches, the residents would be certain of one fact which is darkness. Some of the literate residents would also entertain some fears of the unknown akin to that in Night Fall in SOWETO, a poem that described what used to obtain in South West Township of the then Apartheid South Africa.
The only dissimilarity is the rays of light from private electricity generating sets which illumine parts of the vicinity.
That was long ago before the inception of the Kayode Fayemi administration. With the coming on board of the present administration in Ekiti State, serious efforts are being made to reposition the state’s comatose infrastructural facilities to the admiration of the people.
One of the areas the government has laid much emphasis on is rural electrification. For instance, the Irewolede Housing Estate which has been worst hit by lack of electricity is becoming to experience a new lease of life as things have brightened up for this area. The government has shown commitment in providing electricity to the estate to the delight of the residents.
As a result of the development, an elated resident of the estate, Mr Akin Obasola could not hide his appreciation over the electrification project in the estate.
Mr Obasola, who is also a member of the residents association of the estate told Newsextra that: “The change came very suddenly, almost magically.”
He also recalled that “it was towards the end of last year that we started noticing some activities. First, they brought one big transformer which they fixed in just about two weeks and immediately after that, they brought those concrete poles you are seeing. In about six weeks, they completed the electrification and we have been enjoying uninterrupted electricity supply since then.”
Mr. Obasola disclosed that when he first moved into the estate, everywhere was bushy and dark, especially at night.
“About two years ago, precisely during the former administration in the state, before we came into the estate, we had to settle all bills relating to the building. After that, we were promised everything: good roads, potable water and near constant supply of electricity.
“Remember these are all you pay for when you are buying a house in an estate, not to even talk of government-owned one. When we got here, however, none of those conveniences was in place.
The place was bare, dark and bushy. No motorable access road, no water, no electricity. There were not even the electrical poles. If they were not in place, where then would the light come from?
Inhabitants of the estate today have a reason to sing a different song. The new administration in the state has cleared the environment of the estate and fixed the light.
“I never believed it was possible that electricity could be so constant. There is light in the estate for a minimum of 20 out of 24 hours. That is even to be modest. To say it as it is, there is light all the time.”
But the ‘magic’ of uninterrupted supply of electricity was no magic after all, according to the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Mr. Sola Adebayo.
He said: “What we got was the result of hard calculation and sincere execution as typical of all other projects of the state government today in Ekiti, particularly as encapsulated in Governor Fayemi’s 8-point Agenda.
“There was a coincidence somehow though. The need to electrify the estate came when the ministry was considering the need to execute some of its micro-projects through direct labour by the Ministry of Works and Transportation.
“The alternative of direct labour is to engage professional career officers in the ministry to practise and exhibit their training, tutor their sub-ordinates in the offices on the techniques involved in electrical installation and reduce cost of project execution.
“I invited the Engineers in the Electrical Department of the ministry and gave them directives. They, in turn, assured me on delivery. The result is what you are seeing there at the estate. The work has quality and excellence.
“Today, other projects that have to be contracted out to companies because of scale are being executed under the supervision of the ministry officials and it has been a wonderful blend of private professionalism and official expertise.
“For Irewolede, we started with electricity because we realised the residents needed light as it would enhance their adequate security.
Now that we have completed the electrification project, we move on to fixing other areas as well, including roads and water.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Babatunde Akilo explained why it would be strange for light to cease without a major hitch. He said: “The transformer is 500KVA and the light was tapped from 33KVA PHCN line. This is a direct line from the grid.”
He further explained: “For some categories of projects, the option of direct labour is cost-effective, fast and provides career professional officers in the ministry the opportunity to refresh their memory with regard to their training.
“May I add that the safety and security of the transformer and all other accompaniments must be guided by the residents themselves. Neither the government nor the ministry will be responsible for any loss should that be allowed,” he said.
Last modified: February 13, 2012