Adeoye Fadeyibi, the Managing Director of Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc (EKEDC) has said that high rate of energy theft was a major hindrance to steady power supply within its area of operation.
Fadebiyi said this at the customers’ consultative forum/town hall meeting in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos.
Fadeyibi, who was represented by the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Joseph Esenwa, said the essence of the meeting was to improve service delivery and address the on-going incessant energy theft within its operational area.
According to him, the meeting is to deliberate on challenges confronting customers and find lasting solutions to them.
“The continuous engagement with customers has been a long standing customer relationship that has been built overtime which needs to be sustained,” said Esenwa.
He alleged that some customers including corporate institutions were engaging in energy theft and illegal activities, which made it difficult for the company to recoup funds spent on purchase of energy from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
He warned that the electricity company would not hesitate to hand over any engaging in energy theft to security operatives or Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for prosecution.
According him, energy theft is one of the major causes of the bloated bills, otherwise known as crazy bills.
He explained that energy theft occurred when consumers not captured in the company’s users’ database plugged onto the system and consumed electricity not accounted for.
The EKEDC boss said this often led to sudden rise in the quantum of electricity consumed in a particular neighbourhood or district, where such theft occurred.
He said the rise in the quantum of electricity consumed usually gave rise to crazy bills, pointing out that the situation would be reversed if consumers helped by alerting the EKEDC promptly.
“Help us to stop the practice; it is in everyone’s interest – both the company and consumers,” he said.
The EKEDC boss urged communities to be vigilant and guard against activities of vandals in their area, and that the company would collaborate with the police to ensure that suspects would be duly prosecuted.
Shola Fakorede, president, Residents Association, FESTAC Town, commended the company for effective service delivery and improvement in power supply to communities in its area of operation.
Fakorede urged the management of EKEDC to take the customers’ consultative forum to the grassroots.
He advised the company to pursue the meter roll-out plan with seriousness so as to secure the confidence of the customers.
Another resident of Trinity Estate, Satellite Town, Nwakaego Uhegwu, lauded EKEDC metering programme in the estate.