Ikeja Electric Plc (IE), has invested over N200 million to procure safety equipments just as the Distribution Company has cautioned members of the public to desist from erecting structures under power lines or carrying out activities and trading near electrical installation, which in effect exposes them to risk of electrocution.
This is as the management of BEDC Electricity Plc assured customers of her commitment to resolving complaints during a Customer Complaints Resolution session organized by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) in partnership with MacArthur Foundation on Wednesday in Benin City, Edo State where they met with electricity consumers.
The meeting had in attendance BEDC Management led by the Chief State Head of Edo State, Mr. Abel Enechaziam, FCCPC representatives and NEMSA engaging customers and addressing issues bordering on customer service, metering, estimated billing amongst others.
In his remarks, Mr Enechaziam said, the company is committed to resolving issues bordering on power supply, metering and billing and has put in place a robust complaints redress mechanism in ensuring complaints are resolved as at when due, a 24/7 contact center that allows customers to report service related issues and have access to the right information on the company’s services and operations.
“BEDC has a robust system put in place to attend to customers’ complaints, and we are ready to attend to your complaints and lots of things are being done by the company to ensure that customers are happy,” he said.”
Meanwhile, Ikeja Electric noted that proximity to installations such as transformer, electric poles or power lines contravenes the extant law, therefore people in such locations should vacate those areas urgently in order to protect their lives and property.
According to the Head of Quality, Health, Safety & Environment (QHSE) for Ikeja Electric (IE), Engr. Jamiu Badmos, the warning became necessary because it has been observed that such acts are perpetrated with impunity irrespective of the dangers associated with such violations.
He also noted that Ikeja Electric in line with its Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) policy consistently sensitizes customers on the dangers of trading and building near, around or under power lines.
He also disclosed that the company has spent over N200 million in the last one year on the purchase of different types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as organizing interactive occupational health and safety training for employees, whilst also reiterating the company’s commitment to entrench a value driven safety culture that goes over and beyond safety requirements to build a world class safety conscious environment.
Speaking on the defiance of the law guiding proximity to power installations, Badmos said that Section 3.1 of the Nigerian Electricity Supply and Installation Standards (NESIS) Regulation 2015 stipulates a mandatory distance of 5.5 meters, 15 meters and 25 meters setback from 33/11kV, 132kV and 330kV lines respectively. However, some members of the public have continued to violate the law, making them vulnerable to the risk of unfortunate incidents, which sometimes result in fatalities.
“As a responsible and safety conscious organization, safety enlightenment is top priority and we constantly sensitize members of the public on the dangers of improper handling of electrical issues through our Public Safety Sensitization Programme (PSSP).
This presents the opportunity to articulate the required safety measures such as appropriate rating of materials, proper installation and maintenance of earthing on buildings, curbing illegal technicians and vandalization of network infrastructure, dangers of building and trading under powerlines,” he explained.
The DisCo recently embarked on a SafeAware initiative at all Customer Service touchpoints and other strategic locations across the Business network in an effort to embed attitudinal change to safety practices amongst staff and customers.
To ensure compliance with the safety standard, Badmos called on “the Federal and State Government as a matter of urgency, to harmonize efforts to find a lasting solution to this issue by wielding the big stick on defaulters while DisCos continue to sensitize customers on the inherent dangers associated with continued violation of safety practices.”