Port Harcourt — The Commissioner for Power and Petroleum Development in Akwa Ibom State, Dr John James Etim, has accused staff members of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, the police and other security personnel of involvement in electricity theft and vandalism of electricity facilities.
He said no high-powered electricity theft and vandalism can succeed without the involvement of those in the system, particularly PHED staffers, the police and other security personnel.
He stated this as the state has in recent times has witnessed incessant vandalism and theft of highly volatile electricity equipment, such as transformers and armoured cables.
The commissioner, while speaking with newsmen in Uyo, warned against wanton vandalism of electricity equipment in the state, maintaining that some cases of electricity theft and vandalism were beyond the capacity of ordinary people.
According to him, high technical knowhow and expertise were needed to execute such.
Etim, who expressed shock that most of the incidents occurred under the watch of the police, particularly mentioned the vandalism of a transformer in front of a Police Station in Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo, despite that the said transformer was under the Police surveillance.
“People involved in these criminalities are within the system. The development is fast degenerating into the case of the more you look, the less you see,” he said.
The commissioner assured that the government was working tirelessly to circumvent the system in view of the negative impact of vandalism on the people and government of Akwa Ibom State.
He called on the Police and the management of PHED to rise to the challenge.
He identified vandalism and theft of electricity equipment as the major factors militating against government’s efforts to meet its deadline for the completion of the Power For All Initiative, and urged the people to confront the issue.
nt as the major factors militating against government efforts to meet its deadline for the completion of the Power For All Initiative and urged the people to confront the issue.
“To whom much is given, much is expected. The citizens also owe themselves the responsibility of protecting the power infrastructure in the vicinity of where they live and where they work.
“They must ensure prompt payment of consumption charges and meter their subscription, to avoid estimated billing.”
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