Breaking News

SPECIAL REPORT: Kwara Community Where N40m Transformer Only Benefits Snakes

A signpost describing the abandoned project / Mohammed Taoheed

By Mohammed Taoheed 

It was supposed to be a busy day at a cyber cafe owned by Victoria Adeyemo, a woman in her early forties, but she had slept all day.

Her business situated in Anifowose community, Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, largely relies on electricity and has continually nosedived over the last six years due to erratic power supply.

Adeyemo traced the cause of her business depression to the main transformer in the neighborhood, which had served the community for over a decade but was now faulty and intermittently plunged the community into darkness.

“As a business centre, I can’t operate without electricity. Most times, I stop working or fail to switch on those laptops if the supply current is low. My customers won’t pay an extra charge to buy fuel if we tell them there is no electricity,” Adeyemo said.

Sometime in 2016, Adeyemo and other residents of Anifowose community felt a slice of glee when bricklayers started mounting what would be the fence and protection for a new transformer in the community.

Honourable Olayonu Olarinoye Danlad, who won the Federal Constituency seat of Offa/Oyun/Ifelodun in 2015, had facilitated the supply and installation of a transformer in the community as one of his constituency projects, but the giant engine would not work for six years.

The project, estimated at N40 million, was reportedly approved and due for completion in 2016, and the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation stated in its 2016 report that all approved projects for the year had been fully funded and completed.

However, the supposed completed constituency project in Anifowose community has not been connected to the power grid, and the residents said thieves had started scavenging the components of the transformer.

According to the information on the transformer signpost, the project was awarded to Messrs Murix Technology Ltd.

However, a check on the website of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), a government agency assigned with the duty of registering companies in Nigeria, revealed that the company is “inactive”, a term used for a company that has refused to pay its annual dues in two years.


The transformer’s fence is falling / Mohammed Taoheed

When this reporter visited the site in August 2022, the iron poles that carried the project’s details had started turning grey, a faded version of its original green colour.

Flanked by two concrete poles, and placed at the centre of a waist-level four-corner fence, weeds of different families had started outgrowing the transformer. Inside, the giant object was still visible but without its cable, a material that transports electricity from electrical substations to
transformer stations, which unknown thieves had carted away.

“Don’t risk your life; you don’t know what is in there,” warned a commercial cyclist as this reporter approached the entrance. “Snakes and other dangerous things play around this thing. Just stay here and look at it.”

The residents accused Honourable Danlad of refusing to pay the N1.5 million needed to complete the project.

Abdulrasaq Anifowose, leader of the community, said the transformer and the fence mounted around it once gave the residents hope.

“It would have been beneficial to us if it was connected [to the power grid], but Danlad failed to pay the contractor; it just lies in waste. Now, everything has been vandalised. We don’t need his money; we want this project completed. We need light here,” said Anifowose.

Ridwan Oke, a Lagos-based lawyer, said an uncompleted project serves no purpose and only dampens the morale of citizens.


Speaking with FIJ, Danlad said vandalisation was a major setback in the completion of the project.

“After the project was delivered to the community, pending the time the transformer would be connected to the power grid, I hired a security guard, whom I paid monthly, to look after it,” he said.

“I don’t know how thieves stole the cable in the transformer despite that.”

“If the community appreciated the work, I don’t think they would leave it to get vandalised in such a manner. The transformers in Isale-Offa and Iyana Station [two neighbouring communities] always have a drop in power failure too and that was the reason I took a complete substation to not only that community but all the three locations. Anifowose refused to let it happen. So, when my purpose failed, what did you expect me to do?

“I facilitated the project because I knew their problem was power failure, but can an ordinary person who does not know about the town go there to commit the theft? Vandalisation has always been the story. Let the landlords in the area do the rest.”

Danlad also said the burden of supervising and completing the project lies on the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development that sponsored the project, and that only the ministry should be held accountable.

All messages sent to the email address and phone number of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s website were neither acknowledged nor responded to.


Weeds have taken over the transformer after years of abandonment / Mohammed Taoheed

In response to Danlad’s claim, Wasiu Oro, a community leader, said he believed the delay in the project completion created the room for the thieves to operate.

“If everything was done sharply, there wouldn’t be vandalisation. The thief has used the delay as an opportunity. No one knows him,” he said.

Ilevbaoje Uadamen, the head of Tracka, a social accountability group which tracks government’s projects, noted that a community where a project is executed has a responsibility of supervising it because it is their property.

“A community project is the people’s property. It is executed as a result of our money, being the taxpayers. They [community] should be the gateman of the project.,” Uadamen said.

“But if things go wrong like this, the lawmaker has queries to answer. The lawmaker needs to contact the agency or the ministry and the contractor in charge for verification of the facilitation.With this, anything fishy would be lucid.”

As the project lies in waste, Kemi Pepper, who sells beers beside it, continues to count her loss. She said she watched her business, a once boisterous joint, popular in the neighbourhood, degenerate into a scanty space. Her customers would not buy beers if they were not cold, so they stopped visiting her shop.

“These days, I barely see customers coming here. I have invested my hard-earned savings in buying a big fridge to make the bottles cold, but it is like a wasted effort. My profits are being spent on ice blocks. One block is sold for N150, almost the price of a bottle of Goldberg. Now tell me where the gain is,” she said.

Do you have any information you wish to share with us? Do you want us to cover your event or programme? For Adverts or report call/WhatsApp us on +2349064433505 or reach us at

No comments