Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc (EKEDC) has warned customers who tamper with pre-paid meters, advising them to desist from such act or prepare to face the consequences.
The company gave the warning following the loss of over N1 billion to various forms of energy theft and vandalism in the zone.
Chief executive officer of the company, Mr. Adeoye Fadeyibi, gave the warning at a customer’s consultative town hall meeting in Badagry, Lagos. Fadeyibi, who was represented by Mr. Joseph Esenwa, chief finance officer of the company, decried the high rate of energy theft and non-payment of bills by customers within the network. He said that the town hall became necessary to intimate customers within the Badagry network on the high rate of energy theft and equipment vandalism perpetuated by some customers in the communities. According to him, any act of infraction will be met with a stiff penalty.
“Enough is enough; Eko Disco will no longer tolerate this act of illegal tampering with our equipment and electrical installations. Tampering with Eko Disco meters, installations, distribution lines, equipment or assault on any field worker will attract a jail term. If you disregard this warning, you do so at your own risk,” he said.
The EKEDC boss said that it costs the company huge amounts to replace vandalised equipment and damaged meters by customers in a bid to bypass the meters. According to him, a task force has been set up to inspect houses of consumers and impose a penalty of one million naira on anyone caught in energy theft.
“The company will not hesitate to offer to pay anyone who reports energy theft by some unscrupulous elements 10 per cent of the money recovered from such thefts. Fadeyibi said that the company would henceforth commence effective prosecution of energy theft suspects and also publish their names in the national dailies,” he said.
On pre-paid meters, the CEO urged customers to exercise patience, adding that the newly introduced Metering Assets Providers by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) would address metering challenges when it finally kicks stat.
The Oloto of Oto-Awori Kingdom, Oba Josiah Ilemobade-Aina, condemned energy theft and vandalisation of power equipment by those he described as criminal elements within the communities. Ilemobade-Aina, who is also the Kuyamiku 1of Oto-Awori said that perpetrators of vandalism and energy theft are enemies of the society and all well-meaning people should join hands to stop them.
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