Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) has solicited the support of electricity consumers and stakeholders in tackling energy theft and vandalism within its network.
The Chief Executive Officer, EKEDC, Dr Tinuade Sanda made the appeal during a customer engagement forum organised by the company on Thursday in Lagos.
Customers at the forum were drawn from various areas under Ojo District, including Iba Town, Ojo, Shibiri, Ajangbadi, Ishashi, Okokomaiko and Alaba.
Sanda, who was represented by the company’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mrs Rekhiat Momoh, said the essence of the meeting was to interact with customers directly on issues of concern and address them instantly.
She said that the meeting showed the company’s empathy to consumers as one of its core value and to listen to their complaints and profer solutions.
Sanda warned its customers to desist from engaging in illegal connection to avoid facing the full wrath of the law.
The CEO appealed to electricity consumers and stakeholders to report anyone found engaged in illegal use of energy without billing.
“We appeal to all our esteemed customers to report those within their community who engaged in energy theft to us.
“This is because if you failed to report them or send their addresses to us, the illegal energy used will be paid by everyone.
“I admonished customers to desist from illegal connection and appealed to them to also report any case of illegal connections to EKEDC management,” she said.
“This can also be done via the company’s whistleblower platform firstname.lastname@example.org or any of its social media platforms.
“We plead with our customers to pay their bills on time to avoid the embarrassment of disconnection which may lead to being tempted to engage in illegal connection.
“As the ricocheting effect will not only impede progress in the power sector and affect revenue, but will also erode the quality of electricity supply to our customers,” Sanda explained.
She warned of dire sanctions for offenders, and noted it is a punishable offence under Section 94(3) of the EPSRA Act 2005.
According to her, culprits are liable to imprisonment for five to seven years.
The CEO reiterated the company’s commitment to curbing energy theft, vandalism and other illegalities perpetrated by unscrupulous elements within its network.
On metering, Sanda said the company had commenced effective metering through the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme where meters were installed within 10 working days after confirmation of payment.
She urged customers to key into the MAP scheme as a way of addressing estimated billings.
She said that henceforth, the company will also communicate to consumers who apply for meters through their WhatsApp numbers for effectiveness.
On infrastructure development, the EKEDC boss said the company invested millions of naira in acquiring transformers, electricity poles and other equipments to improve supply and had commenced installation.
On electricity supply, Sanda assured its customers of improved power supply, adding that EKEDC is committed to their satisfaction.
She said that the company distributes effective energy to its customers based on what it receives from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
Sanda said, “We all know what Nigeria is going through today, the challenge is everywhere.
“I know how you people feel about supply but I want to assure you that we are doing all we can, under the law, to improve power supply to our customers.
“We have embarked on massive replacement of faulty transformers within the network; we expect customers to reciprocate this gesture by paying their bills.
“We also expect communities that will benefit from the transformers not to see them as public property but as their own, so that they can help safeguard the transformers against vandalism by unscrupulous elements.”
One of the community leader, Alhaji Yusuf Aderenle, commended the management for the forum which was targeted towards addressing customers complaints.
Aderenle appealed to management of EKEDC to ensure that all promises made were kept, adding that adequate supply of electricity and prompt billing based on consumption should be aimed towards customers satisfaction.
According to him, EKEDC should be commended for their prompt response to faults and provision of poles to areas that required urgent attention.
He urged EKEDC to support the community where it operates from through the development of infrastructure as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Aderenle also appealed to consumers for their support towards protecting EKEDC equipment in there community.