The Uprising: LightUpNigeria

The Uprising: LightUpNigeria

I went to a shopping complex on Saturday to pick up and drop off some clothes with the tailor. As I stepped out of the car I was hit by the sound of the power generators, loud and disturbing. On a row where five shops conducted business side by side, there were two power generators positioned at the respective front-area of said shops, one of which was my destination.

Sitting down to decide on a design/style, the droning of the generators gradually became irrelevant and was just another sound in the background, like the chirping of the birds or barking of the dogs. So wrong! This is the situation in Nigeria, businesses, schools, churches, mosques and homes are forced to utilise these machines to generate electricity because the power company is not reliable.

There are so many problems that plague the power sector in this country, both from the end of the often lackadaisical and corrupt government officials and the citizens. A glaring problem is infrastructure; I live in the north where the rains are often preceded by heavy winds. Times without number, we have being plunged into darkness because a power pole was uprooted (yes uprooted!) by the strong winds. This used to be the case with NITEL as well before the advent of GSM and Reltel/Zoom/Starcomms landlines. On the part of citizens you have people who are connected through (openly) shady means and never pay electricity bills.

Workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria announced a strike over pay raise in the last week. The reactions of most people seemed to have been an air of indifference, because it does not change the situation of things.

Young Nigerians started speaking out against the electricity debacle on Twitter and Facebook in the past week following the birth of the lightupnigeria movement. This effort is laudable; however what I have seen is a focus on the problem. Majority of the tweets I have seen are simply wisecracks ending with #lightupnigeria.

What I believe this should be is a way for this generation to speak up for a basic utility. This should be a forum to exchange ideas on alternate power supply options (solar energy anyone?) and public-private partnership. I hope to hear in the coming months of partnerships, alliances, projects and rallies to promote this cause.

For Laughs:

Scene: Man is in the banking hall checks account balance and starts complaining loudly and bitterly that his salary has not being paid.

Bank Boss Lady: Hey, officer what’s that man’s problem?

Bank Officer: Madam, his salary has not being paid

Bank Boss Lady: That’s unfortunate, where does he work?

Bank Officer: [hisses]. PHCN… I don’t know why he is complaining. Which work did he do!

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Links

Lightupnigeria discussion on Twitter

Lightupnigeria group on Facebook

Lightupnigeria website

Lightupnigeria Youtube

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