NEMSA begins inspection of public electricity installations

Electricity distribution sub station.

Electricity distribution sub station.

*Indicts AEDC over shoddy, defective execution of projects

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

15 July 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, NEMSA, has commenced a nationwide monitoring of the operations by the 11 distribution companies, Discos, especially regarding the standard of connection of consumers to their networks.

The Federal government recently signed of on NEMSA to carry out electrical inspectorate services for Nigeria’s electricity industry, with regards to enforcing statutory technical standards and regulations of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC.

Officials of distribution companies had publicly opposed the creation of the agency, but, according to NEMSA’s Managing Director, Peter Ewesorn, the agency will go ahead to push the Discos to guarantee safety of their installations in their respective networks.

At an inspection tour of the Abuja distribution network and other public electricity installations operated by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), for instance,
NEMSA officials discovered instances of hazardous electrical installations within and outside of the city.

NEMSA stated that it will assert its inspectorate authority on the operator of the distribution network, AEDC, to immediately rectify the anomalies.

According to Ewesor, the agency will not hesitate to impose the necessary penalties on distribution networks that fail to rectify reported instances of hazardous electrical installations in their networks.

Ewesor and his team further inspected electrical lines that run through the Abuja rail line project and which he said had been badly executed by the AEDC, as well as exposed feeder pillars and transformers in the city centre, stated that NEMSA will take up AEDC on the development.

He said on the 33kVa line that ran through the rail line on the Idu industrial district axis of the project, as well as its Kubwa end, that the AEDC had failed to apply extant standard practices in its installation of the line.

According to him, the Disco may have thrown caution into the wind in running the lines, adding that such disregard for standard practices constitute a danger to lives and properties within the area.

“Development should not give rise to uncertainty, danger and risk to life and property. What we see hear is simply unacceptable. The people who did this realized that they have done a bad work and thereafter put PVC for house wiring to cover a 33kVa line and these tubes do not have the strength of insulation to ensure that there will not be current going to unwanted parts of the system.

If somebody passes here and by mistake touches it, the person will be dead. That is why we are doing this monitoring,” Ewesor said.

He further said: “These are what we had discovered and flagged to the utility before now, to let them know that this constitute great risk and it is an accident waiting to happen.

We are going round to check what we have flagged to them earlier and as the chief electrical inspector of the federation today, I have to check out what has happened.”

He said on enforcement of its reports to Discos that: “When we detect and discover such defects and nothing is done, after this visit, we will give them timeline and reasons for that.

“We will specify from today the safety measures that they will use as well as signs that they will put in places to alert people of the dangers of coming in contact with such electrical installations.”

“We will make the Disco to put signs so that people will know that these electrical installations are dangerous to come in contact with, and all these will determine the timeline that we will give them.

“We also will find out which agency of the government that is involved in this railway project and talk with them on rectifying these things we had noticed,” Ewesor added.

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