Engr Dotun Jubril Sanusi is a Petroleum Engineer and the founder of Ilaji Farms and Ilaji Stadium and Resort Center in Ona Ara Local Government Area of Oyo state. He speaks on his involvement in the restoration of light to Ona Ara communities.
Are you an indigent resident of the affected communities?
I am not from any of the communities. I am from Oluyole Local Government area of Oyo state; I only have my business domiciled in the community.
How long has your business been in this community?
I established my first business enterprise, Ilaji Farms, seven years ago while my second company, Ilaji Stadium and Resort Center was established two years ago. The two companies are situated in Oloyo Village, off Ona-Ara LG secretariat.
Can you trace the background of the light issue in the community?
Before January 2004, according to the information gathered, the electricity supply in Akanran and its environs was very good. I learned that when the officials from the power company gave the local government then their power supply bill, they felt the bill was outrageous thus they rejected it. It was what made the power officials to remove Amuloko-Akanran community and their environs from the power grid. After this incidence, the vandalisation of the electric facility began.
How many communities are involved?
Not less than 51 communities.
How did you get involved in this?
Before now, there have been efforts on the part of the communities’ stakeholder to fix the issue but it was all futile. I think recently, the community firmed a community to see to the fixing of the issue. They went to the power officials to get the estimate of what will restore the vandalised equipment and they were given 40 million naira. From what they told me, they have gone round solidity for help but they have not been able to make any appreciable progress. I was on my Resort Center on Tuesday, September 4 when about three or four elders from the community came to see me along with the Ona-Ara council chairman whom we have forged a very good partnership with. They tabled the issue and it was too much to be resisted. How can some people be without light for 14 years? Meaning that a child that was born then in the city would have been in SS 1 class by now, I asked them to give me the list of what they need to buy. I immediately called my own Electrical Engineer and we immediately started work on it.
How much have you expended on the project?
I have spent over 33 million naira now and we are not done yet. By the time we are done, we might have spent nothing less than 35 million naira.
How was life in the community without light?
You can imagine it yourself; it was rural devoid of tangible development.
When will light finally come up in Akanran and environs?
By God’s grace, just as I told them when they came to me, I gave them my words that before my birthday which comes up around the middle of October, that is next month, they would have had light. And I am still making the pledge now that in the next two and half weeks, there would be light in Amuloko-Akanran communities.
How did you mediate with the power distribution companies?
It is a joint effort. There is a committee formed by the communities to look into that. It comprises of prominent individuals and I am also one of them.
What are you doing to ensure there is no repeat of the crisis?
The communities involved have learned their lessons besides like I said, there is a committee that will look into anything power related.
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