Kunle Kalejaye 16 September 2015, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company has called for the review of existing laws on vandalism of electricity equipment and other public facilities and their replacement with laws that would stipulate stiffer penalties against culprits.
The stringent laws and penalty, according to Managing Director of the company, Engr, Oladele Amoda, would help reduce and possibly eradicate the nefarious act.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after an interactive session with customers of the company from Surulere, Ijora, Mushin Akoka, Ijesha, Yaba and Lawanson recently, Engr. Amoda said existing laws against vandalism of electricity equipment were lenient on culprits, hence the need for their review.
He decried a situation whereby a convicted vandal only bags two or three months of jail term after causing indelible damage to the economic and social wellbeing of Nigerians who are affected by acts of vandalism.
The Eko Disco boss further stated that vandalism of electricity equipment and other public utility facilities was a serious act of economic sabotage and should be treated as such.
He added that sales of public power equipment such as transformers, aluminium conductors and armoured cables should be better regulated to make it difficult for vandalised electricity equipment to be taken to open market for sale.
Besides meting out stiffer penalty to convicted vandals, Engr. Amoda also advocated for quick trial and determination of cases of vandalism by the setting up of special courts to handle such cases.
Commenting on his company’s activities in the last two years, Engr. Amoda said: “About N20 billion have been spent for system upgrade and network reinforcement. Apart from 40 new distribution transformers recently installed to replace faulty ones, 50 others have been procured to serve as relief for overloaded transformers in various parts of the company’s coverage area.”
On metering, he said: “The company’s plan to rollout smart meters to all customers would soon commence. The company will always be concerned about optimal service delivery to all its customers as complaints about estimated billing will drastically reduce.
He however advised that customers who might be in a hurry for their premises to be metered before the smart meter programme reaches them should avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation, CAPMI, which would allow customers to pay for meter and have the money paid for meter refunded to them through the fixed elements of the billing.
“The refund of the meter programme would be spread over a period of time,” Engr. Amoda said.