Engr. Sunday Oyejide, District Manager Eko Electricity Distribution Company in a chat with senior Correspondent, NEWSHERALDNG, Monday Samuel, talks about the successes and challenges of electricity distribution and generation in Nigeria.
Can you please share your up bringing, challenges, prospects and gains?
It was a tough one but by the grace of God, we were able to scale through. I was born on the 19th of July, 1970 in the town called Aramoko in Ekiti land to the family of Mr. & Mrs. Joshua Oluwadara Oyejide. We are six that my mother gave birth to. I was the second born and first son. I started my early education in St. Joseph CAC Primary School. After my primary education, I proceeded to Aramoko District Commercial Secondary School for my secondary education. I attended Oyemekun grammar school for my HSC, that is Higher school certificate. I later proceeded to Christ school Ado Ekiti to complete my HSC.I there after proceeded also for my National Diploma at Federal polytechnic Ado Ekiti, in Electrical & Electronic Engineering. Though my parent preferred that I study medicine, but as faith would have it, I ended up studying Electrical & Electronics Engineering. After my ND, I went to Yaba College of Education for my HND. Later I proceeded to Federal University of Technology, Akure, for PGD. After my PGD , I registered with Nigerian Society of Engineering.
My first master was in Business Administration MBA with specialization in marketing. My second master was M.Eng, Masters of Engineering from Federal University Abeokuta in Ogun State and I am presently doing my Ph.D in the same University.
What Childhood experience really shape your life?
When we were in school, we formed a club known as Arcadian club. We always gather to read and compete among ourselves to be the best and that really motivated us.This club still exists and I am the chairman currently. The club is known as Arcadian club, Aramoko Ekiti.
What were some of the challenges you faced growing up?
The challenges were numerous. I lost my dad the same year I gained admission into Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti. It was really tough for me. I had younger ones who needed the attention of my mother most. During the holiday, I was always going back to farm as well as other menial jobs I could get. My uncle was a motor mechanic, I was going to his work shop to assist him also. I was able to save from there; the money helped me a lot in my academics.
What would you say has been the most important key to your success?
The important key to my success is my commitment to reading. I decided I was going to have education because my parents valued education so much. During our evening prayer in those days, they used to tell us about people who had read and how much they achieved due to the fact that they had Education and I decided and made up my mind that I won’t leave this life without having education. I also saw people like chief Architect Fola Alade the then chief architect of Nigeria, including our close uncle Laolu Akinluyi, Ganiyu Bakare, Prof. Ayo Olajuyigbe and host of others. Because of these achievers, I decided I was going to excel in life too.
You have been in the power sector over a decade now, how has the experience been?
The interest matters most. I have interest in the job and that is what keeps me going. My believe is, anything you are doing, if your interest is there, you will excel.
What is government not doing right in power sector that you think they should do right?
First of all, the privatization was in good faith but we didn’t place the priority right. It was supposed to have been in stages and move down. what we are experiencing now in distribution is that the generation is not enough. The capacity to transmit is equally not enough. It becomes a problem. You don’t solve a problem by creating another problem. They started from the end product, instead of starting from the beginning to the end product. The way forward is for government to have a rethink. I don’t mean that government should take back the company because the privatization has brought good initiation and innovation to the industry. Government must ensure that we have enough generation to be able to cope with our population in Nigeria. We have facilities on ground that can cope with the installation but government is not really utilizing them. We have some installation in Egbin that are not working, nobody is talking about it. People are just blaming distribution, The capacity of transmission is equally not enough. Many of these stations were built over fifty years ago before I was born. Just imagine the growth and expansion that has taken place. For example, look at the Badagry feeder we have been battling with, When it was built there were few houses in place. The load keeps increasing and we are still using the same line.
What are the valuable lessons you have learnt in life?
Life is consistency. whatever you are doing in life, you must be consistent with it without that, you can not make head way. Honesty is also another thing couple with thorough knowledge of what you are doing; Being happy doing whatever you are doing too is key. Whatever you are not happy doing, you cannot make headway. When you are happy doing what you are doing, success is guaranteed.
Have you at anytime in your life or career thought of giving up?
No. I take so much solace and derive joy so much in my job. I am happy when I attend to customers and when I talk to people. Even when things are worst, I am still happy when I talk to customers. I try as much as possible not to be alone. I always try to be around lively people.
What advice will you give to younger generation?
My advice to them is to know that life is in stages. A child does not walk the day he is born. Our youths must desist from the get- rich- quick syndrome or the hushpuppi’s approach that is now the trend among our youths. Life is in stages. One step at a time. Youths should know how to save.
On the occasion of your birthday we say happy birthday sir.