I think that when it comes to electricity, we are doing very well as a country. Please applaud the NEPA officials in your vicinity. Let me tell you why.
One evening, you come back from work, tired and worn out, pissed off at your boss, your bills, your landlord, which in some cases is you. You are pissed off at the world and cussing, like a conductor in the hot noon traffic at Cele Express Lagos. The house is dark, your rechargeable lamp is on, and you start to fix dinner. The food is ready, you dish it, and then, as you are about to sit and eat, NEPA (don’t tell me it is PHCN, it will always be NEPA to us) brings the light. Instantly, your mood changes. Now things aren’t so bad, you think to yourself, at least you have a job, a place to stay, food to eat.
What just happened? It’s light, just light, your bulb coming on, your sitting room lighting up, TV, music, everything coming alive. Now this will not be so if there’s always light, and nothing to raise our moods. Nothing to stop us from taking out a gun, and going on a shooting spree, blasting away our bosses and then ourselves. Nothing between us and madness.
I think that is why we hear of these mass shootings by teenagers in the USA or UK (Frankly, I look at them as one country). So these Western nations always have light (loight, if you are British), and there is nothing to look forward to. But here in Nigeria, we don’t. A Nigerian teenager is depressed and contemplating a mass murder/suicide. NEPA brings the light. And he throws away the gun and starts watching TV, listening to music, ironing his clothes. Just like that, crisis gets averted. Frankly, I think I just solved half the world’s problems; every country should have an electricity generation and distribution paradigm exactly like Nigeria’s.
Now you may say, “What about generators?”
And I will say, “Really? Generators? Are you kidding me?”
The answer in one word is ‘Noise.’ I once read somewhere, when I should have been doing something more important, that the noise produced by generating sets in Nigeria between 8pm and 10pm each day is audible in Hawaii. Can you believe that? Of course not, because it’s not true, but you get my point. Instead of lowering the murder rate, generators actually increase it. Look at the you in that first instance. You are about to eat. NEPA doesn’t restore power. And your neighbor, who services his generator once every decade or so, starts it up. And instantly, there is a racket of raucous duh-duh-duh! Following this, your food becomes tasteless. You become angrier than you were before. You remember the machete you bought some days back on your way from work. Then you…you…
I need a Nollywood producer to come up with a suitable finish.
Written by Chika Jones, tweets at @chika_jones