TEMPORARY WITHDRAWAL OF STAFF FROM IBEDC FELELE SERVICE CENTRE

We wish to bring to your notice, the state of affairs in Felele area and IBEDC electricity supply. Despite the series of engagement meetings held between IBEDC and these communities, their leaders and the youths in the environs have refused to tread the path of reasoning. We regret to inform you that all efforts to amicably resolve the crisis through peaceful dialogue has met a brick wall. IBEDC has therefore been left with no other option but to temporarily pull out our staff from Felele Service Centre to avoid loss of life, property and installations until normalcy returns. This has been necessitated by the incessant threats to the lives of our staff, barring us from distributing bills and forcefully evicting us from our office during the protests. Prior to this logjam, we have had several meetings with the Felele communities over power supply and sundry issues. The community engagement has been on-going, as far back as April, last year when they shut down our office and assaulted the staff. We had a high-level community engagement with the senior management team present to explain and appeal for their understanding. We met with them again in January 23rd 2016 where we provided plausible and laudable solutions which they acknowledged. In between these large scale interventions, our staff have continued to engage with the key members of the community on a one-on-one basis to ensure communication and understanding of the issues. All this is to show that we are customer-focused with the ultimate aim of positively changing the lives of our valued customers. However, the present power supply situation in the country is beyond the control of IBEDC. The sector has been going through bouts of system collapses, prolonged outages and a high level of vandalism which has impacted negatively on the quantum of electricity available for distribution across our franchise. The community during their protest on the morning of Monday, 25thApril, 2016 closed down our office and assaulted the staff, our operational vehicle was locked in and the entire business in the area was shut down. The communities demanded a minimum of 12 hour power supply daily. We need to note that this particular situation was triggered by the current low generation from the grid, something we have no control over, as we are only the collection agents in the electricity supply value chain. They asked for the replacement of the 301 pole-mounted 25/50 KVA transformers because of frequent faults, and immediate adjustment of their outstanding debts. Unfortunately, these transformers were deployed as part of a World bank assisted project. Despite these difficult scenarios, the Head of our Security and Asset Protection, appealed to them to allow dialogue on the issue. The community leaders and some youths vehemently turned down the gesture, but rather stood on their demands. Notwithstanding all these incidents, we remained undeterred in our pursuit of a peaceful resolution. We requested for another meeting with the key representatives of the community at their base; they came back to say they would prefer to meet with us at our Head Office on the 27th of April, to which we agreed. They later changed their mind and refused to come saying we had not provided them with 12 hours power supply daily. It is pertinent to note that a similar situation was experienced with Ifesowapo comprising 11 communities in Ajara, Olorun Da Aba under Monatan business hub who asked that they should be disconnected from the grid. After much reasoning and persuasion, they toed the line of peace and a truce was agreed. In conclusion, we wish to state that the issue has been resolved after the timely intervention of Hon. Ademola Ige representing Ibadan South East Constituency II in company of Barr. Yomi Ogunlola and other prominent representatives of Felele. In line with our corporate policy as a customer-focused organization, we have agreed to send back our staff after strong assurances from the Honourable on safety and security. We would assure the public that IBEDC would continue to strive to provide quality service to all esteemed customers within its franchise. Thank you.