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The wrestle for electricity continues

24 July 2012, 17:58

You hold your breath in optimism. You say silent prayers hoping that God will answer yours above that of every other being. Your heart beats in anticipation. You wait eagerly, hoping that PHCN will not strike after almost 7 hours of steady electricity supply.

And then, just as the clock ticks and minutes pile on to make 7 hours 8, you ease off and relax thinking: "Maybe PHCN or NEPA (as we still love to call it) has attained that change that our ancestors prayed and believed for." You begin to believe that somehow Nigeria may have changed for the better, but the usual thing happens: Complete darkness.

In that moment, the days of cursing the electricity company you hoped was behind you somersault back with a vengeance. You reel out all the curses you know and sometimes even run out of curses and say something silly.

Yes! The same dilemma we have faced and government has claimed to fight for decades still remains. A certain blog once carried an image and story where the federal government vowed to end electricity hiccups in 1989. Someone born in that year will probably be out of tertiary institution by now and some women and even a few men would have been married.

Now it's 2012, 23 years later and the status quo remains. The government still promises to end the power issues. The trend has recently emerged where the media is filled with news of power projects commissioned in some state or the other. So many mentions of huge amounts of money fill the dailies that it can make one dizzy. Amidst all of this, the power situation hasn’t changed a bit.

Well, some people will say they now have more power supply than before while a good number will say electricity supply to their areas is practically non-existent.

Yet at month end, some workers for the energy company sashay to your compound armed with some annoying bill probably compiled from estimation (for those who haven't gotten the pre-paid meters).

The government told another bigger lie when they, after a closed-door meeting filled with merriment in their generator powered homes/offices, stormed out to say that investors will flow in with an increase in the electricity tariff. They in fact promised that power supply will be steadier.

We all knew it was one of those sentences we shouldn’t believe, but somehow we chose to give them the benefit of the doubt. Again, they failed us. Where are the envisaged investors?

Very recently, a Canadian firm, Manitoba Hydro International 'intervened' by going into a $23 million three-year contract with Nigeria to provide power.

Most fingers are crossed with hope. Some of us even go as far as praying and fasting with the faith that maybe, just maybe, what Goodluck Jonathan's antecedents couldn't achieve, would be achieved by him.

Is that a fruitless hope or belief? Should we all just adjust to the fact that we would continue to run our businesses, light up our homes and do whatever we need power for with our generating sets? Should we suffer and smile as the price of fuel remains high and may very well increase with time? Is Nigeria ever going to break the jinx and give us so much electricity that even we would complain?

These are questions that even you who are reading may not have an answer to. Questions that when our President Goodluck Jonathan reads them, would probably get the answer: "My government is on top of the situation."

On top of that of course, but never within for if you were within and hit like everyone else, you probably would have instilled some form of change.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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