Thursday, June 05, 2008


How many students are discouraged from studying at night due to power failure and poor illumination provided by the candlelight? How many businesses have packed-up due to unavailability of electricity to operate? Well, we are all affected by this poor and ailing state of Power Holding Company of Nigeria! On one hand, there is hope, experts say all we need to reverse the trend is about 24 refineries and 50,000 megawatts, MW of electricity generation. On the other hand, Nigerians sign in disappointment as President Yar'adua's declaration of state of emergency on the power sector is yet to yield any effective result as others chirp on "corruption leaves Nigeria in the dark".

Perhaps, it is in this same state of frustration that someone created a group named "Protest against power outage in Nigeria". If you have never heard of such group then get on Facebook. Oh! well, Facebook is a unique social network that connects people with friends all over the world. Basically, people use it to keep up with friends, upload of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about people and real-life issues. It is also made up of many fun networks, each based around a company, region, or school. One of such is the "Protest against power outage in Nigeria" that gives Nigerians online the opportunity to reflect, learn and debate on issues around PHCN.

"Please sign up so we can have a feel of how many Nigerians are fed up with the power cuts. It is so frustrating sometimes that you get so close to tears and its so pitiful for such a great Nation..." these were the sincere words I saw on the group page that endeared me to join despite my initial reluctance to accept the invitation. From the way activities are booming on the page, it is obvious that indeed young Nigerians are tired of the epileptic state of electricity. It is true that sometimes when you share your frustration with people who experience similar things, you feel a little relief. As it seems, this group was not originally created to solve the our electricity problem but who knows by giving the issue a face on Facebook, in the process of vexed discussion, we might stumble on an idea to liberate us from the situation!

The PHCN challenge and all its flaws have been given a global platform where hopefully more people can express their dissatisfaction freely, create a global awareness on such an important issue and chart a way forward for change! Imagine a society where we can celebrate one day, then one week and then everyday of uninterrupted power supply! It will bring an end to the environmental pollution caused by exhausts from all manner of generators and the resentment we feel towards PHCN sector will fade away!

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