Residents of Oguta town and neighbouring communities, under the Imo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (ISOPEDEC) are venting anger over total blackout of electricity supply in their area, which they claimed has been so for over five years.
Their anger took a new dimension few days ago when indigenes of the community both young and old took to the streets to protest the continued neglect and alleged marginalisation in terms of electricity supply by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) and the Imo State Government.
The residents said it had become obvious that the EEDC and ISOPADEC were not in any way thinking of providing them electricity even though they were ‘the goose that laid the golden egg’.
When contacted, the Managing Director of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, Mr Robert Dickerman, debunked claims that they had stayed five years without electricity.
He said it was just about six months that the area had not had power, a situation he said was due to the fact that the state government through ISOPADEC had not fulfilled their promise of payment of electricity bills for ISOPADEC communities in a long time.
The MD maintained that the debts owed by the state government to EEDC was over 70 million Naira.
The Managing director said the company was willing to negotiate a new deal with the state government to solve the lingering issue.
Meanwhile, the state government through the Deputy Chief of Staff Operations and Former ISOPADEC Managing Director, Kingsley Uju, in an interview with Channels Television maintained that the state government had always fulfilled its promise by paying EEDC monthly as stipulated in the agreement.
He said two months ago, a sum of 5.5 million Naira was paid to EEDC through the ISOPADEC office for electricity supply in Oguta and its environs.
He appealed to the people to channel their grievance to EEDC and not to the state government.
Mr Uju, however, said the government would meet with the EEDC and ISOPADEC communities to find a lasting solution to the issue.
As the EEDC and state government continue to trade blames on whether it is six months or five years, what is paramount in the minds of Oguta people is to enjoy uninterrupted power supply, like other major oil producing areas in the Niger Delta.