By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) Plc on Thursday reiterated its plans to commence prosecution of illegal connection of energy customers within its network.
Mr Adeoye Fadeyibi, the Chief Executive Officer of the company said this while deliberating on how the company could improve its service delivery at a town hall meeting in Victoria Island in Lagos
Fadebiyi, represented by Mr Joseph Esenwa, the Chief Finance Officer of the company said there had been high rate of energy theft and non-payment of bills by customers within its network.
He condemned the act while saying that the essence of the customer forum was to inform the customers about the company’s service as well as the huge amount loss to energy theft.
Fadebiyi warned all customers to desist from energy theft, adding that the company would not hesitate to prosecute and jail those caught in the act.
The EKEDC boss said that the forum was to enlighten customers on the negative implication of energy theft while listening to their problems and complaints.
“People go to our substations and vandalise cables, damage transformers, looking for transformer oil. In some cases, those illiterate ones think there is mercury in the transformer and destroy it, and we are losing a lot of money.
“ Apart from vandals, we have meters being bypassed. When you look at all these losses, the cost is enormous.
“We lose millions of naira monthly to vandalism and theft of our equipments.
He added that the forum also aimed at getting customers’ view on strategic solutions to the problems.
“It has also come to our notice that some people have been illegally connecting to our energy.
“It is on this note that EKEDC is warning all those engaging in energy theft to desist from doing so. Whoever is caught doing so would be prosecuted and jailed,’’ he said.
Fadeyibi said that the company had embarked on massive metering within its network but was challenged due to lack fund, which slowed down the schemes.
He explained that it was not possible for all customers to be metered at the same time since the cost involved in purchasing meters was huge.
The EKEDC chief said the company had embarked on an energy audit and customer enumeration programme to ensure a just and fair assessment of customers’ consumption.
He also said that the programme aimed at ascertaining true energy consumption of all customers with or without meter.
He said that the ongoing customers auditing had led to the detection of those engaging in energy theft.
Fadeyibi appealed to customers to reports anybody found bye-passing metering or engaging in any form of energy theft to the company for urgent actions.
He, however, reiterated EKEDC’s commitment to effective service delivery to customers within its network, while urging communities within its operations to partner with the company in protecting power equipments.
Commenting on EKEDC, Mr Akinwunmi Julius, a representative of Banana Island in Lagos commended the company for improvement in power supply, while urging them address issues of estimated billings.
Julius advised the company to pursue the meter roll-out plan with seriousness so as to secure the customer’s confidence in the company’s integrity