Ekiti Enacts Act to Curb Electricity Installation Vandalism, Theft
In a bid to curb theft and wishful vandalism of electricity equipment and installation, the Ekiti State government on Thursday enacted an electricity regulatory Act. According to the act tagged: ‘Ekiti State Electricity Regulatory Act 2015’, vandals and anybody found culpable of stealing electricity equipment now risk two years jail term with option of N10 million fine.
The establishment of electricity committees in all the communities in the state was also mandated under the act to monitor suspicious activities on any electricity installation or equipment and report to distribution companies (discos). Governor Kayode Fayemi while enacting the act at an event attended by stakeholders in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, stated that the Act was enacted to protect both the distributors and consumers of electricity in the state.
Fayemi, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, said, “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 liable. “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, who was represented by a BEDC staff, Barr Lucky Ayomoto, added that the company had improved electricity distribution in Ekiti, Ondo Delta and Edo states which helped their economies tremendously. “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 per cent and non- technical losses of 34 per cent, giving a combined total of 46 per cent in aggregate technical and non- technical losses”.
Responding, 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, identified under-metering as the major issue causing problem between the BEDC and the consumers in the state. “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”.