13 March 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Federal Government whistle-blower initiative has been adopted by Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc, EKEDCP as they are willing to pay anyone 20 percent of the money recovered from persons involved in energy theft.
Chief Executive of EKEDCP, Oladele Amoda, made this known at a stakeholders’ forum with Festac Town residents in Lagos at the weekend.
“If you report anybody engaged in energy theft or vandalism of the company’s properties, you will get 20 percent of the recovered money,” he said.
Amoda said the measure became necessary against the backdrop of over N1 billion lost to the various forms of energy theft and vandalism in the zone.
The CEO, who was represented by Mr Sam Nwaire, the Chief Operating Officer, said in the last three years, the company has incurred N1 billion cost in replacing vandalised equipment and metres damaged by customers in a bid to bypass same.
According to him, a task force has been set up to inspect houses of consumers and impose a penalty of N1 million on anyone caught in energy theft.
Amoda added that the company would henceforth commence effective prosecution of energy theft suspects and also publish their names in the national dailies.
“We appeal to our customers to avoid engaging in bye-passing the meters because it’s criminal and punishable under the Electricity Regulation Code of Conduct Act.
“l will advise customers to exercise patience with EKEDCP as we promise to address all the issues as regards estimated billing and other challenges,’’ he said.
On pre-paid meters, the CEO said the company has started the installation of over 4,000 pre-paid meters to residents of Festac and its environs, adding that the first batch of 1,000 meters had been installed.
He said that the company would ensure that 4,000 pre-paid meters are installed before the end of the year while appealing to residents to ensure prompt payment of their bills.
Amoda stressed:“ We have deployed the first phase of 1,000 meters to residents of Festac, we promised to install over 4,000 meters before the year ends.
“We will ensure effective roll-out of pre-paid meters to residents of Festac, Satellite Town, Amuwo and its environs because we are committed to serving our customers very well.
“We appeal to residents to place an order for the metres and it will be installed. Most residents prefer to pay little bills because they are cheating the company through bye-passing of meters.”
The EKEDCP boss said the company was owed N4.2 billion by residents of Festac Town and urged consumers to settle their debts.
“We have designed a model that allows customers to pay their huge debts by instalment to encourage them to settle their debts at ease.
“We all know what Nigeria is going through today; the challenge is everywhere. I know how you people feel and I want to tell you also that we are not also happy with power situation.
“But I want to assure you that we are doing all we can under the law to improve power supply to our customers.’’