Small and Medium Scale Enterprises business owners under the aegis of Association of Shop Owners, Sura Complex on Lagos Island on Wednesday stormed the premises of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) in Marina to protest against poor and erratic power supply.
The obviously frustrated business owners led by their chairman, Mrs Bunmi Ann Ajayi, demanded that they have resolved henceforth to source electricity power from an Independent Power Project (IPP) and no-longer ready to do business with EKEDC.
The protesters brandished placards with inscriptions such as: “Sura Association say no to EKEDC, we want IPP,” “Stop EKEDC exploitation, IPP come to rescue us,” “We are tired of epileptic power supply, EKEDC stop disrupting our businesses,” FG save our businesses, give us IPP,” “Uninterrupted power supply is an illusion under EKEDC,” among others.
The protesters, who gathered at the entrance of the disco lamented that through the epileptic power supply from EKEDC, the over 1,000 shops in the shopping complex had virtually become empty as many business owners had left due to collapse of their businesses.
Speaking with newsmen, the chairman of the association, Mrs Ajayi further lamented that EKEDC lacked efficient customer service and only interested in forcing her members to pay their “outrageous” electricity bills or be disconnected.
She said, “We are here because we are on protest to Eko Disco. We are small business people and electricity supply is so crucial to our businesses.
“In Sura Business Complex, we have over 1,000 shops but if you come to the business complex now, the complex is half occupied because people have been going out as there is no power to actually do business. It is a multi-purpose business community where you have printers, where you have people in production and service industry so we have people who need constant and regular power supply.’’
The Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer of Eko Electricity Distribution Plc, Adeoye Fadeyi, while addressing the protester said the issues at stake that led to the disconnection of the customers could be resolved through dialogue.
He promised that the shopping complex would be immediately reconnected while the company would find time to resolve the other issues at stake.
“We have found out that you have been disconnected, and I have tried to get the specifics of when, how and under what circumstances and what really happened.
“’We are law abiding organisation and operate in an industry that is regulated and I thank you for maintaining law and order, you have the right to come here today and protest peacefully and understand exactly what we are doing about your power,” he said.