The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) has said that it loses over seven million kilowatt-hours, an equivalent of over N238bn, to direct electricity theft a month
The Head, Revenue Protection Department, PHED, Mr. Nsika Udi, said on Friday during a consumers’ forum that the direct tapping of energy, besides meter bypassing, illegal connection, and fraud in billing, accounted for 80% of power theft. He added that the energy theft was not restricted to direct stealing of energy by the consumers that had not been officially connected to the grid or those that had diverted load from the visibility of the energy meter alone, but also extended to individuals that had been billed but deliberately refused to pay or cheat at payment.
The state chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr. Akamba Awah, however said that the mass retrenchment of former PHED employees might have been responsible for the direct and indirect tapping of power, thus resulting in colossal losses to the company. Awah, also blamed the power company for poor service and inaccurate billings, which he maintained might have contributed to the non-payment of the bills by consumers.