Port Harcourt — The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHEDC, has identified Woji area in Obio/Akpor LGA of Rivers State, as the highest in electricity theft with meter bypass, thereby avoiding bills payment and shortchanging the company.
Managing Director of PHEDC, Dr. Henry Ajagbawa, who disclosed this recently while briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt, explained that the power industry cannot survive without bill payment by energy consumers.
Ajagbawa regretted that Woji axis of Port Harcourt was about 95percent metered, but yet still has the highest cases of energy theft.
He reiterated the need for a legislation to criminalize energy theft, maintaining that stringent laws was the only way for the industry to afloat, thus, the issue of energy theft should not be left to Discos alone.
“Woji is 95 to 97 percent metered and the highest energy theft is in Woji, but it is metered. So when we solve the so called problem of metering, have we really solved the problem in Nigeria?
“So we have serious other issues, including the criminalization of energy theft. Even our own stafff have been caught involved in energy theft and we expelled them from the system.”
The PHEDC boss also expressed the readiness of the Disco to provide additional 48 megawatts of electricity to boost power supply in Port Harcourt and environs.
He assured that there has been improvement in the system and more significant improvement should be expected.
”One of the things we are doing is to revamp our infrastructure, to eenhanced our capacity. One of such programmes is the project going now megawatt power station at Rumuolumeni/Iwofe axis.
“We have about 60MVA capacity that is unevacuated up till date in that area. With partnership from state government, the transmission company and PHEDC, we are all working hand in hand.”