By ABAH ADAH, Abuja
As part of efforts to stem the tide of vandalism of its electricity equipment across its franchise areas, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has emulated the federal government by introducing the whistle-blowing policy in its security strategy.
Speaking when the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) paraded some suspected vandals, dealers and sellers of electricity equipment belong to AEDC at its command office in Abuja, AEDC’s Director, Risk and Compliance, Mr Collins Chabuka, said, “Our partnership with security agencies with security agencies is beginning to yield fruit, and we are stopping at nothing to ensure that efforts to track and crack down on more of the culprits who are yet to be arrested come to reality.
“The Minister of Power, Works and Housing has talked about the people whistle-blowing policy of the federal government being adopted in the ministry; AEDC has adopted it. Hence, anyone that can come up with tangible information that will lead to the arrest of other enemies of improved power supply like these ones here today, the company will reward them and ensure confidentiality of their disclosure.”
He noted that AEDC is losing a huge amount of money to the nefarious activities of vandals, saying, “We have valued these plucked out cables and metals at N3.5 million.
“Given this arrests and the previous ones you realise that AEDC has lost a substantial amount. We are losing on three fronts, that is when you consider the worth of these Cables, the cost of replacement including technical charges, and the lost revenue from our customers who are forced to be in darkness.”
Recall that early last month, a collaboration between AEDC and the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the Ministry of Justice has gave birth to a special taskforce spearheaded by NSCDC whose primary mandate was to investigate and prosecute all electricity theft cases within AEDC’s area of coverage.
Parading the suspects, the FCT NSCDC Commandant, Mr Patrick Ukpan explained that the culprits who were made up of 8 vandals, 4 dealers and 2 sellers totalling 14, were arrested at different times while vandalising transformers and plucking out the armoured cables and metals within the Central Business District of Abuja.
He said those arrested in previous times had been charged to court “and NSCDC has secured several convictions in the court after which the convicts were sent to prison to cool off”, adding that as soon as investigations were concluded the current batch would sent to the court for prosecution.