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State faces total blackout on New Year day

Akure, the Ondo State capital, and its environs have experienced a week long blackout that has continued into the New Year, causing a nightmare for residents.

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The blackout, which was triggered by a major electrical fault at the “power station” of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), a private firm that supplies electric power to the state and its environs, is forcing residents to use the electric generator set as an alternative.

The faulty “power station” which houses “heavyweight transformers and a line cable” is located at Leo Junction on Oyemekun road, a major street in Akure.

The unhappy residents informed SaharaReporters that they are worried that the weeklong power outage might be extended past the New Year, forcing them to celebrate the festivities in complete darkness.

A junior officer with the BEDC exclusively told SaharaReporters that the electrical failure has affected a “line transformer” that supplies power to the cables in the power station of the company.

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“The major fault on the ground is that of a line transformer that supplies electricity to other sub-stations in the city and its suburb. It blew up and damaged the cables which bridge the electricity to the households in the city.

But, some engineers have arrived at the power station to find a solution to the problem. I cannot really tell you when the job will be finished because there was a heavy and major fault which requires days to finish, even some of the engineers would have to sleep over as the work continues, ” he said.

Local business owners especially producers of sachet water complained that the power outage is taking a toll on their trade and production and they also noted that the running of electric generators as an alternative to power is an unprofitable risk.

Some of them have shut down completely waiting until the BEDC officers find a solution to the problem and restore electricity back to the affected towns.

“The non-availability and shortage of fuel to power these electric generators as an alternative to electricity is a big headache to our businesses,” business owners told SaharaReporters.

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Investigation also revealed that those most affected are sick patients at private hospitals as their relatives complained of astronomical charges by the management of these facilities to compensate for the cost of using electric generators.

“These patients are on life support and they can only survive with the used oxygen and other medical apparatus that requires power,” a source disclosed.

The top management staff of BEDC in Ondo State have constantly aired radio advertisements urging residents to have “patience” with BEDC, as they are making every effort to identify the problem associated with the faulty power station.

A SaharaReporters correspondent who visited the power station of the company was not allowed entry to see any top management staff. The correspondent did observe that some electrical engineers were inside the building located along the road and have started work on the faulty transformer.

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