By Taiye Odewale Abuja
Equipment worth over N500 million have been lost to vandals within the last 10 months by electricity distribution companies in the country, stakeholders in the sector have disclosed. Specifi cally, while the Head, Technical Services of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Engr. Saidu Abdullahi, told the maiden National Power Safety Summit held in Uyo, AkwaIbom state at the weekend, that his company spent N147 million to replace vandalised cables and other ancillary equipment in 2017, the acting Chief Executive of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), Engr. Kingsley Achife, disclosed that the DisCo lost over N100 million to vandals within the fi rst 10 months of 2017.
Engr. Accrah Tubokeyi Johnbul, who heads the Yola Electricity Distribution Company, also told the gathering that his organization had lost 35 per cent of its infrastructure to vandalism and Boko Haram activities so far. Achife, who spoke on the topic “Vandalism: Sabotaging the National Power Sector,” said his organisation’s security challenges made it to lose overN100 million to electricity equipment vandals in the 10months of 2017.
He said vandals “target transformers, feeder pillars, transformer oil and conductors,” adding that the trend “is a global challenge.” According to him, the PHEDC has lost 129 transformers and 381 metres of cables to thieves between January and October this year. Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Enyinnaya Abaribe, who also addressed the gathering, asked DisCos to work closely with Houses of Assembly and the Chief Justices of the states for effective legislation and prosecution ofvandals.
He said the National Assembly had in 2005 passed the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act (EPSRA) to create an enabling environment for the operations of DisCos and GenCos, adding, however, that cases of thefts being experienced were issues that could be dealt with by state courts.