Electricity distribution companies (DisCos) have raised the alarm over the high rate of energy theft by unscrupulous customers, The Nation has learnt.
According to the DisCos, the level of theft and vandalism of power equipment across the country militates against their resolve to improve operations and service delivery nationwide.
This is coming on the heels of the drop in volume of electricity received monthly by the DisCos from the power generation companies (GenCos). The DisCos said what they received from the national grid had fallen considerably due to poor generation caused by shortage of gas supply.
The DisCos also lamented the rate at which power consumers bypass their meters and steal their cables. In the process of stealing the equipment, the thieves badly vandalise our facilities, the DisCos added.
The Nation further learnt that managements of the electricity distribution firms were disappointed by the development, which is having untold effects on their operation.
Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) Chief Executive Officer, Dr Oladele Amoda, said issues, such as electricity theft and equipment vandalism had become an albatross for DisCos. He said his firm has promised to improve on its customers needs, adding that the problem had affected the organisation’s resolve to do its best for them.
Amoda said: “It is the resolve of EKEDC to meet its obligations to customers by spending money on meters and other equipment. Though we tried to do our best, the unsavory issues are killing. They do not allow customers to see our best, adding that issues such as theft and destruction of power equipment are criminal and should be treated accordingly.”
Ikeja Electric Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Anthony Youdeowei, said confirmed the theft, adding that the issues were having negative effects on the power firms.
“While Ikeja Electric and other DisCos believe that it is their rights to meet the needs of customers and they are trying their best to do so, people should ensure that they complement the efforts of the DisCos to achieve the goals and stop creating problems for them,” he said.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) also has raised serious concerns over destruction of facilities of power firms.
Its Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Anthony Akah, has advised the firms to protect their properties and ward off attempts by people to destroy their equipment.