The managing director and chief executive officer of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, (AEDC), Engr. Ernest Mupwaya, weekend disclosed that the company has invested about N2.5 billion in ensuring the safety of its personnel as well as the reconstruction of shanty networks since they took over the assets in October 2013.
He stated this at a ceremony to present the hosting flag of the “2018 National Power Safety Summit,” at the AEDC’s corporate headquarters in Abuja on Friday.
Speaking on the value placed on safety, Mupwaya said the issue was accorded high priority at a directorate level and enjoyed generous budgetary provision.
He added that the company placed high premium on the health and environment of both the staff of the company and areas of operations.
“Since we took over the ownership and management of the company on October 31, 2013, we have carefully and deliberately raised the level of awareness and changed the mindset of the workers of the company in the area of health, safety and environment,” he said.
On financial commitment, he said, “We have invested close to N2.5 billion over five years in the provision of personal safety gears, safety equipment, total reconstruction of some shanty networks such as Kabusa and Gisiri that we inherited from the defunct PHCN.
“We have also invested in the massive education of the consumers going from school to school, village to village knowing that when knowledge is shared, abuse and accidents are also reduced and more customers become loyal to the company.”
According to him, the company’s acceptance to host the summit was not just an extension of her corporate social responsibility, but a practical demonstration of its commitment to the safe use of the company’s products as well as the importance it attached to safety.
Elaborating on the need to increase awareness of the danger inherent in the industry and the urgency required to reduce the rate of incidents, Mupwaya said, “Electricity is such a good servant but a terribly bad master that only listens to explanation after punishing but that is if the victim survives.”
He put the number of incidents recorded by the company since the take over at 101 out of which 9 were employees, while 61 were third party fatalities attributed to illegal activities such as electricity theft and vandalism and the balance caused by one form of accident or the other.
Earlier, chairman of the local organising committee (LOC) of the National Power Safety Summit, Mr. Gabriel Egede, said the annual conference was initiated to help reduce the rising incidence leading to death in the nation’s electricity industry.
“People are losing confidence that the power they clamour for is becoming a death trap. We therefore decided to have a forum that will educate people on the hazards in the unusual usage of electricity. What we are doing through the forum is to educate people on the necessity to manage the use of electricity,” he said.
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