A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Residents panic over low hanging PHCN cables

PHCN-cables-360x225
*The Punch Photo

16 January 2014, Lagos – Residents of Sariyu Street Makoko, Lagos State, say they are worried about the low height of suspended high tension cables on their street.

They said because the cables were hung too close to the ground, they (cables)had become sources of dangers to their lives.

They said an unidentified employee with the Lagos Metropolitan and Governance Project had last December, reportedly lost his life after he was electrocuted by the wires.

An elder in the area, Mr. Ade Ewunuga, told PUNCH Metro that the PHCN wires became a danger to the community, after a road reconstruction project in the area by the LMDGP.

He said, “Before the road reconstruction project, we had no problem with the wires, but after the project last November, we noticed that the wires were now dangerously close to the ground; this was because the street was raised by three feet.

“We alerted the LMDGP contract workers and told them that the electricity poles should be replaced with longer ones, but they ignored us. They said the wires were not disturbing anybody. The community development association chairman and I had to go to the Eko Distribution office at Iwaya to complain. An engineer came from the office to see our street and observe the wires.

“A week after that, one of their workers was electrocuted on our street by the same wires. The man was on top of a vehicle bringing in construction materials and the vehicle was high. The man had no idea that he was close to the wires. His head touched one of them and he was electrocuted instantly.

“I went back and informed the PHCN office at Iwaya about the incident, hoping that something would be quickly done about our situation, but till date, nothing has been done.”

PUNCH Metro gathered that a similar disaster was averted recently by the watchful residents who had now become wary of high vehicles on their street. Five men reportedly escaped electrocution while offloading iron rods from their vehicle.

The men who were not residents in the area were said to be oblivious of the wires until a resident raised the alarm that one of the iron rods the men were offloading was about touching a live wire.

Ewunuga added, “We live in fear every day that someone else would be killed.”

When PUNCH Metro visited Sariyu Street, it was observed that all the cables hung low, some even rested on the roof tops of houses close to it.

A letter written to the Lagos State Safety Commission, voicing the fears of the community was made available to our correspondent. It was dated October 9, 2013.

Although an acknowledged copy by the commission was received by Ewunuga on October 22, 2013, he said the community had yet to see action from the agency on the matter.

The CDA Chairman of Makoko community, Mr. Sanusi Bamidele, told PUNCH Metro that the situation was peculiar to Sariyu Street.

He said, “On every other street that was reconstructed, the LMDGP changed the electric poles and this was because in the course of their work, they had to shift the poles.

“Sariyu Street, however, is quite wide and there was no need for them to move any electric pole. That is why they did not bother to change the electric poles. Please we need the relevant agencies to urgently do something about the situation here.”

When contacted, Senior Manager Ijora Business District, Mr. Ayiwe Peter, said, “This problem did not emanate from us. It came about because the road reconstruction at Sariyu Street had caused the electric poles to be shortened as a result of the filling. That is why the wires are now close to the ground. We were not carried along by the construction workers or else we would have done something about it.

“Now that I am aware of the problem, I will visit the place with a technical crew so that we can best advise the management on how the problem should be tackled.”

There was no response from the Public Relations Officer of the LMDGP, Mr. Ajayi, when he was contacted.

The PRO LASC, Lola Jagunmolu, said, “I am not at the office now. I will need to contact the relevant department handling this matter so I can get an update.”

 

– The Punch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the ground. We were not carried along by the construction workers or else we would have done something about it.

“Now that I am aware of the problem, I will visit the place with a technical crew so that we can best advise the management on how the problem should be tackled.”

There was no response from the Public Relations Officer of the LMDGP, Mr. Ajayi, when he was contacted.

The PRO LASC, Lola Jagunmolu, said, “I am not at the office now. I will need to contact the relevant department handling this matter so I can get an update.”

 

– The Punch

In this article

Join the Conversation