BEDC SEEKS DEMOLITION OF STRUCTURES ON RIGHT OF WAY
Benin Electricity Plc has called for the demolishion of structures violating the Right of Way of power lines.
A statement by the company’s Safety Manager, Gilbert Nweke, said this was in the interest of the public.
He made the call to state ministries for lands, surveys, environment and public utilities, during a presentation titled “Violation of Right of Way of power lines and vandalism of power infrastructure,” on the celebration of the World Environment Day in Benin recently.
The company also expressed its readiness to partner with the four state governments under its franchise, which are Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo.
In the statement, he appealed to them to ensure that all relevant laws in respect of RoW were activated by their law enforcement agents to tackle the menace.
Nweke stated, “In line with the Nigeria Electricity Management Services Agency directive, customers that violate the Right of Way of power lines can be disconnected while distribution companies should not extend electricity supply to prospective customers whose buildings/structures/businesses violate the right of way of power lines.”
According to him, issuing letters of notifications of violation of RoW to identified defaulters and following up with the disconnection of supply would serve as a deterrent to others.
He suggested that deployment of social media platforms, use of print and electronic media to create widespread public safety awareness against trading or building illegal structures under power lines could also be helpful.
To curb vandalism of power infrastructure, Nweke called for the arrest and prosecution of all vandals and those who bought from them.
He advised that vandals of cable and other electrical accessories should be arrested by the Police and should be paraded on television and other news media to serve as a deterrent to others.
He listed challenges confronting BEDC on RoW as including illegal connections and reconnections, vandalism of power infrastructure, meter by-pass or energy theft, illegal activities of roadside electricians on the network and hanging off wires.
Nweke mentioned some actions taken by BEDC to address RoW issues including mounting signposts to warn people and advertising agents to stop building or trading under power lines while disconnecting customers who violate the NEMSA directive. “BEDC would be partnering with state governments to identify and demolish illegal structures under power lines.”