Closer to School, Farther from Power: Students in School Environs Lament lack of Electricity

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By Oluwapelumi Oginni

The instability of electricity is a communal problem in Oye-Ekiti, however, while some parts enjoy the “inadequate” electricity supply some areas don’t enjoy it at all.

An example is the school immediate environs with a conflux of hostels that have not used electricity for 13 months now and still counting.

Even when there was electricity, it was very low that it could barely charge a phone.

Hostels in this area cost a fortune and from a general survey the least amount payable for an apartment is ninety thousand naira in which electricity fee has been incorporated into the rent. Yet the service paid for is not enjoyed.

UCJ FUOYE gathered that the area’s proximity to school has been the reason for the influx of students to these hostels.

However, as an afterthought, students often reconsider if it is worthwhile since they are deprived of electricity supply which is essential.

Since electricity supply isn’t promising students leaving in the area are therefore forced to device uncomfortable ways just to charge their gadgets ranging from going to school in odd hours of the night to paying fees to fuel generating sets.

Speaking to UCJ FUOYE, one of the students living in this area identified as Oyejide Prosper who stays in a lodge popularly known as Camp Jason, said they hardly have power.

Therefore, “anytime we hear there is light in school no matter the time we all go to school which is dangerous. Around 2am in the midnight you see students going to school just to charge”, she said.

“Our bills for NEPA light is with the hostel fee and we pay every year. Now that we have hostel generator, it is expensive to operate as each room contributes one thousand naira (₦1000) per month for fuel in which the generator is just for 3hours a day. Some people’s phone don’t even get full…not that it is comfortable like that”.

Another student identified as Oyebode Similoluwa from Macedonia Hostel expressed her grievance.

She said “there is no light to pump water. Though we have a well but who knows what is inside the well and anytime I use the water I get reaction. If we want to charge our phone to do assignment, we have to go to town or faculty of education to charge which isn’t proper”.

“We sometimes have to wait in school till they put off the generator while some of our mates would have gone home…it is really painful. I pay one hundred and ten thousand naira (₦110,000) per year in which electricity fee is included yet I don’t enjoy the electricity”, she said.

Another student identified as Otesile Ayodeji of Authority Villa says the same.

According to him “it is really irritating when you pay thousands and no light…I have been going through hell because I want to charge my device and some of us waste over 20k a month fueling generator”.

He further recounts an ugly experience he had over lack of power.

“I can remember vividly in 100L, 2nd semester, my Infinix smart phone was stolen at the faculty of education while my charger was left where I was charging. It was so disheartening though but I had to forget about it and move on” he said.

Among other similar ugly experiences, students routinely use stove irons to straighten their wears which they find uncomfortable. Many have also lost costly gadgets to thieves who trail charging spots both on and off campus.

Speaking to UCJ FUOYE concerning what is being done to solve the issue of lack of power in the area, an agent in charge of “To-Top Castle”, a hostel in the area, who refused to disclose his name said that he does not really have adequate knowledge on whether a solution is being put in place to resolve this issue as it is not a work that a landlord of a particular hostel can do.

As such he does not know if there are plans put in place, neither can he solve the problem at hand.

Similarly, when asked if there is a landlord association in this area that attends to issues relating to students living in this environment, the agent of Unique Hostel, another hostel in this area, said there is none.

Similarly, he said he knows nothing about efforts made to solve the problem of lack of power.

Attempts to get through to the landlord of hostels in this area proved abortive as most students only have direct contact with the agents.

The lack of power is endemic to Oye-Ekiti and urgent measures are needed to facilitate efficient power distribution which enhances productivity most especially in an academic environment.

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