Jos DisCo to Commence Prosecution of Energy Thieves

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Jos Electricity Distribution Company (Jos Disco) has said it will soon commence the prosecution of its customers who may be found to have committed acts of stealing energy through the by-pass of meters or illegal connections aimed at evading electricity metering.

Wilson Eryum, who is the head of legal and corporate services for the company, told BusinessDay in a text message that the Jos Disco had already commenced the compilation of the names of culpable customers for these illicit acts.

Eryum said that apart from those acts being criminal, they also constitute economic sabotage, and warned that those involved in such devilish acts should desist from them or face the wrath of the law.

In a related development, Anthony Akah, acting chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has frowned at the spate of accidents within the business locality of the Jos Disco.

In a statement signed by Usman Abba Arabi, who is the head of public affairs department at NERC, Akah said the incidents of five injuries, four fatalities and over 400 complaints from electricity customers recorded within the first half of 2016 was not a good record for the utility company.

“These are unacceptable statistics. It is hoped and expected that with the establishment of this Customer Complaint Forum Office in Gombe, electricity customers who are dissatisfied with Jos Electricity Distribution Company can seek further solace in the existence of the Forum Office,” he said.

He enjoined members of the Forum to be dispassionate in the discharge of their responsibilities even as he encouraged electricity customers in the state to make use of the redress mechanism rather resort to the cumbersome and expensive judicial process or take the laws into their hands when dealing with staff of JEDCO. 

According to Arabi, Aka gave the advice on Wednesday during a courtesy call on the secretary to the state government of Gombe State, James Pisagi, who stood in for the state governor, Ibrahim Dankwanbo, ahead of the commissioning of Gombe Forum Office.

The Forum Office is the second stage in the three levels redress mechanism established by the commission to handle electricity complaints not satisfactorily handled at the customer care unit of the electricity distribution companies.

He said that the Commission’s regulations on embedded generation, independent electricity distribution network and investment in distribution electricity network would assist states and local governments to partner with electricity distribution companies in increasing power supply to their residents. 

Some of the small hydro potentials in Gombe State that could be developed for small hydro power plants include the Dadinkowa and Balanga dams.

This is in addition to the solar energy and coal potentials available in the state.

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