IGP Sets up Anti-Electricity Vandal Response Squad

Ibrahim-Idris

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris has sent notification to all police commands to set up an Anti- Electricity Vandal Response Squad.

This is coming on the heels of the escalating rate of vandalism and theft of electricity distribution assets.

 Managing Director, Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Mrs. Funke Osibudu made this known to the power sector stakeholders during the 21st ministerial meeting that the power firm hosted in Asaba, Delta State. 

She noted that despite the wider industry challenges and the sometimes very hostile and restive operating environment, the BEDC has been able to bring improvements to customer experience within the coverage area.

 She added that the company has attained an innovative and strict load management and outage schedules, which makes customers’ power availability predictable and better evenly spread in the distribution network clusters.  

Osibudu told the stakeholders that the BEDC customers now have multiple channels of payment for their bills, adding that customers can now receive their bills through sms and emails and receive alert they make payment.

According to her, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is in the process of standardizing allowable fines and penalties chargeable by the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) for customer/consumer infractions. 

She noted that there is still needs for a purpose fit legislation, criminalizing theft and expeditiously dispatching such cases before it, by setting up a mobile court.

On tariff, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO): “The seeming freeze of retail electricity tariff without proportional ‘subsidies’ to cover cost is inhibiting DisCos ability to meet their performance obligations and in essence, customer expectations. 

“The tariff situation is at the heart of the liquidity squeeze in Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and apparent performance gaps in same as this affects the entire value chain of the electricity market.

 “This impedes DisCos ability to access the financing necessary for Operation Expenditure  (OPEX), Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) and loss reduction initiatives (including customers metering). 

“As one of the fallout of the tariff issue, DisCos balance sheets are currently in a net liability position, as tariff shortfalls are not duly accounted for in the audited financial statements.”

Source: IWIN

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