By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
Ekiti State Government on Wednesday came hard on vandals and theft of Electricity equipment in the state as the offence now carries two years jail term with option of N10 million fine.
The state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi stated this on Thursday while inaugurating an electricity regulatory Act, which forbids theft and wishful vandalism of electricity equipment and installation in the state.
Going by the content of the act tagged : ‘Ekiti State Electricity Regulatory Act 2015’, vandals and theft of electricity equipment now risk two years jail term with option of N10 million fine.
The act also mandated the establishment of electricity committees in all the communities in the state to monitor suspicious activities on any electricity installation or equipment
and report to distribution companies(discos).
Inaugurating the act at a function attended by stakeholders in Ado- Ekiti on Thursday, Fayemi, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, stated that the Act was enacted to protect both the suppliers and consumers of electricity.
“This regulation was made to protect suppliers and users of electricity. If you tamper with your meters or do anything untoward to the transformers, you are liabtle.
” The electricity company, I mean Benin Electricity Distribution Companies(BEDC) not to default in electricity supply, because such also carried penalty”.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of BEDC , Mrs Funke Osibodu , revealed that distribution companies lose about N30 billion daily due to the activities of vandals and theft.
She commended the Government for enacting the law, saying it will help in boosting power supply to Ekiti.
Osibodu, represented by a staff of the company, Barr Lucky Ayomoto, added that BEDC, which controls light distribution in Ekiti, Ondo Delta and Osun states, have taken giant strides in ensuring that the economies of those states were given impetus through improved electricity supplies since assumption.
“Ekiti state Electricity Regulation Act 2015 therefore seeks to curb and deter illegal and unauthorised use of regulated electricity supply as well as to protect electricity infrastructure.
“According to the Nigeria power baseline report of 2015, Nigeria was estimated to have daily technical losses of 12% and non technical losses of 34% , giving a combined total of 46% in aggregate technical and non technical losses”.
Osibodu added that the BEDC , as part of its responsibilities, has increased power supply to Ado Ekiti capital city from five hours to 9 hours daily, while other towns like Ido, Otun, Osun, Ira , Igogo and others in Ekiti North now enjoy 18 hours daily supplies.
“Ode-Ekiti in Gbonyin local government that has been in total darkness has now been reconnected to national grid while work is ongoing on Ikogosi , Erinjiyan and Ipole Iloro electricity.
The Chairman of the Ado- Ekiti Residents Electricity Consumers association, Dr. Ibukun Ogundipe, the chairman of the Council of Traditional rulers, Oba Oluwole Ademolaju and the Elemure of Emure -Ekiti, Oba Emmanuel Adebayo, said the only problem causing friction between the BEDC and the public in Ekiti has been that consumers are undermetered .
“What they use here is estimated billings, people should be given meters the way it happened in Lagos. There is no way the consumers won’t react when the BEDC brings exorbitant bills every month.
“But if they are given meters and whatever they used as electricity are properly measured and billed, they will be ready to pay”,