By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Some residents under Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) network have pledged their support to partner with the company to reduce energy theft and meter bypassing within its operation.
The executives of various estates within EKEDC made the pledge on the sideline of the customers’ consultative forum held between Eko Disco and residents in Amuwo Odofin area of Lagos.
Mr Ignis Obiyom, Chairman, Kirikiri Residents Association Estate, said that the partnership became necessary to curb incessant energy theft and meter by-passing by some consumers.
He also said that the energy theft and meter by-passing had contributed to high bills from the company within the area.
Obiyom said that such act should be curbed urgently, now that power supply had been stable and EKEDC continually installing meters to residences within the zone.
He commended the company for its efforts and commitments toward addressing electricity challenges confronting consumers within its operations.
The chairman further explained that the collaboration was also aimed at protecting the company’s equipment from being tampered with in the area.
“This is to ensure the safety of EKEDC facilities in the area and ensure that we expose anybody involved in energy theft.
“Recently, we reported the cases of meter by-pass to EKEDC and encouraged the company to prosecute those residents engaged in this illegal activity as a deterrent to others.
“The persons involved in the energy theft and meter by-passing announced by Eko Disco were discovered by the association and handed over to the company.
“We have promised to do more to safeguard their equipment so that there will be improved power supply in our area,” he said.
Mr Shola Fakorede, President, Festac Town, Residents Association also confirmed to NAN that electricity supply within the area had improved and been effective, adding that the company had invested a lot in its network.
Fakorede pledged the Festac resident’s readiness to partner EKEDC to curb energy theft and vandalism in the company’s franchise areas.
He said this became imperative followed a sustained campaign by the company against energy theft, vandalism of its equipment and violent attack and harassment of its staff by electricity consumers.
He noted that the responsibility of protecting electricity equipment and staff of the distribution company against violent attack and harassment belongs to everybody.
Fakorede, however, commended the management of the company of the ongoing improved in electricity supply and prompt response to customers’ complaints within the estate.
He said that executives and residents of Festac would support the campaign by facilitating synergy between the company and other security agencies to stop energy thefts in the area.
He said noted that although EKEDC was now a private company, he stressed that the services it renders was public-oriented and therefore, requires the support of all patriotic citizens.
According to him, protecting electricity facilities against vandalism is for the socio-economic development of the country and as such a task to be taken serious by all patriotic citizens.
Mrs Nwakaego Uhegwu, Secretary of Trinity Estate, Satellite Town condemned the activities of some consumers within the estate towards energy theft and vandalisation of EKEDC equipments.
Uhegwu said that such unlawful incidence was geared towards incapacitating the company from discharging its services to its consumers.
She decried the increase in the vandalisation of Eko Disco equipments by some vandals, while urging the company’s legal department to ensure that the culprits were not left off the hook, but prosecuted alongside their buyers.
The resident’s secretary also condemned the spate of violent attacks on EKEDC workers and urged the company to prosecute the offenders.
According to her, supply has been better and stable in the last two months, residents involving in illegal energy theft should not be allow to draw us back again.
“We are fully determined to support the company in putting a stop to such acts through arrest and rising alarm on those culprits.
“I warned perpetrators of such act to desist from it forthwith as the executives of this estate would stop at nothing within the ambit of the law to ensure that perpetrators do not go unpunished,’’ she said.