Akungba-Akoko is the host community of Adekunle Ajasin University (AAUA) in South-West of Ondo State, Nigeria. According to the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), as cited in City-Facts, Akungba has an estimated population of 25,506 as of 2015 when last updated. The community is now known to be student populated.
Over the years, students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), most especially the off-campus residents, have not been able to unravel the mystery behind the stable electricity supply which usually occurs when students are on vacation. In this report, Akungba (BEDC) cleared the air on the reasons behind the circumstances.
Reacting to the issue, Oluseye Ojo, a 200-level student from the Department of Mass Communication narrated his experience staying back in school during the recent break. His eyes could not believe what he saw.
He said, “When students are not in school, or during holidays, we get reports that there is stable electricity and with a very full voltage. I didn’t go home for this last festivity and I experienced it. There was light for about 48 hours straight. There was light every day.”
“Sometimes I feel like they have something against the students. If some neighbouring towns before you get to Akungba while coming from Owo, as I have observed, could have steady power, why can’t we also have it here?”
Oluseye noted that he likes to stay connected to the internet while reading to aid his studies but he bemoaned his inability to read as expected because of the poor power supply to charge his gadgets. Nevertheless, he pleaded with the Akungba BEDC officials to do better for the students.
“Most times, I have to come inside the school every evening to charge my gadgets. We (students) have devices and gadgets like phones and laptops to charge for reading, research, and our assignments. We need light to be comfortable as students of 21st-century institutions.”
“I understand that they also have their ups and downs, as affected by the situation of the country at large, but then, they should please do better for us students. I heard there is a new director, and I hope the new person could do better,” he said.
A 300-level student from the Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, Omooba Abiodun also lamented how the lack of power supply has cost him extra expenses and efforts, stressing the need why AAUA students should have access to light while on campus.
“I find it unfair and sometimes, I ask myself to what end do they act in this manner. I believe it is when students are around that electricity should be made stable because we need it more and for them, it is an avenue to make ends meet when students pay power bills.”
“Lack of power supply requires me to charge my gadgets with money. After the whole day’s stress, I still return to reading in school due to the bad power supply. If the power supply isn’t an issue, I see no reason why I should go back to reading in school again when I can do my reading in the comfort of my abode,” Omooba affirmed.
He however suggested that the power supply should not be once in a while and it should be constant, nothing less than 5 hrs a day. He emphasized that students would not love to pay their bills at the end of the month when the power supply is not constant.
For Afelumo Victor Olajiire, a 200-level student of Criminology and Security Studies, the student population also contributes to BEDC officials not giving light during the school period. He noted that students’ electrical appliances, gadgets and all that can drain the power supply, unlike indigenous usage.
Victor however said that should not be a tangible reason why the electricity officials do not have a stable power supply as much as the students do pay for it.
“The electricity officials in Akungba should provide electricity for students and the light should be constant. It is not when they want to bring their monthly bills or want to cut wires that they would now be flattering light to deceive students,” he said.
Another student, Adejumo Oluwayemisi, a 300-level student of Early Childhood Education also reiterated that students should have the right to enjoy the electricity they paid for and the issue of poor power supply should be addressed.
“I do hear people say that when our school is on break, we do have light. When school is on break, I do go home so I can’t say much, but I know that we usually have light 3-4 days to month end and this is just a strategy they use when it’s about time to disconnect the electricity to get the bills paid.”
“We pay for electricity every month and it is our right to enjoy it. We need stable and good electricity. We have a very poor electricity system in Akungba and it leads to extra stress for us, mostly during exams period and hot weather conditions,” she noted.
Akungba BEDC should do better, not until when students go rigid – AAUASU Welfare Director
The current welfare director of the AAUA Students’ Union, Odole Mojisola (Voice) expressed her dissatisfaction over this issue. She acknowledged that the SU leaders have had several meetings with the Akungba BEDC on this matter and they’ve continued to say their actions were not intentional.
“Most times, I realized that there used to be light when students are not on campus. With the few meetings we’ve had with them, they said it’s not that they intentionally don’t give light to students but the circumstance is beyond their power and control.”
“As the welfare director, I am not happy with the situation. It’s not fair for students to be paying for the services they aren’t enjoying. It is wrong, it is in our society that things like this happen. This is the examination period, students need light to read.”
“Recently, it was the action the AAUASU leaders took by seizing the ladder of the BEDC officials and releasing it on a condition that they should give AAUA students light. It was then electricity was distributed to students. It is not supposed to be like that.I hope they will do better,” Mojisola remarked.
Akungba (BEDC) Officer Reacts
The Senior Commercial Officer and Service Manager of Akungba, Isua and Oka Akoko Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Mr Adesola Samuel during an interview said they used to generate electricity from Okene, Kogi State, a neighbouring state and light is distributed based on the Megawatts collected.
“Ordinarily, we are supposed to be having 12 Megawatts from the direct feeders, but it has dropped between 5 & 4 Megawatts and the more the Megawatts, the more stable the electricity would be, and vice versa.”
“The student population has nothing to do with the Megawatts. In our context, energy is what we produce and we are not the producer of the energy. We buy energy from generation through transmission and we sell to our customers. Once the production drops, we won’t be able to get our 12 Megawatts and that’s when population comes into play.”
“At times, the students too also contribute to the epileptic power supply. We see situations when we disconnect cables of debtors, once supply is restored, everyone often 70-75 per cent hang their wires back on poles. These actions have a direct effect on our DSS (Transformers). It leads to Fuse cut, G&P cut, and so on,” he disclosed.
The manager however advised students not to hesitate to come to offices if they have any issues. He said: “My door is open if they have any issues. Since I resumed this office in November, I have been working very hard to make sure the community gets supply. The Students’ Union President and some concerned students have been here on several occasions and I have explained things to them.”
“It would be a thing of joy for me during my tenure to see that everyone gets supply. That’s all that I have in mind to achieve here. So, AAUA students should always understand that if they do not get supply, it means that we are not getting from Okene, that’s the transmission company where we get supply from,” Mr Samuel declared.
He noted that Akungba is a community flooded by the student population and when students are in sessions, if they don’t have 12 Megawatts or more, they would be having difficulties because of the shortage of Megawatts and illegal activity of setting up cables among people.
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