12 February 2013

Nigeria: 69 Transformers Vandalised in Six Months, Says Ikeja Disco

The Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company has stated that a total number of 69 distribution transformer substations under its network were vandalised and various electrical items stolen in the last six months.

The company said in a statement during the weekend that the increasing rate of vandalism of its equipment in many parts of its network had reached unacceptable proportion.

It noted that vandalism which had initially reduced after the conviction of two vandals to various terms of imprisonment had assumed a dangerous dimension in the last six months.

"During this period, a total number of 69 Distribution Transformer Substations were vandalised and various electrical items were stolen from these stations, thereby throwing the communities being supplied from the stations into darkness," said the statement.

The company also noted that the socio-economic effect of this act of sabotage was high, adding that apart from throwing communities into darkness, the cost of replacing vandalised equipment is colossal.

The company disclosed that it could no longer bear the cost of vandalism and charged Community Development Associations (CDAs) and other well-meaning members of the communities to assist in curbing this menace in their locality.

The Ikeja Disco further stated that it spent over N20million to replace the equipment in the 67 vandalised substations.

According to it, the money would have been better expended on new projects for network expansion.

"The management will like to once again advise Community Development Associations and other well-meaning community members to be alert and assist in curbing vandalism of electrical equipment within their locality. The management also seeks the continued support of the Police, the State Security Service (SSS) and other security Agencies in putting an end to vandalism of electrical equipment," the statement said.

The company had also raised the alarm over rising cases of tampering with prepaid meters, describing the culprits as thieves that steal electricity, without paying for the services.

Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Okaa Chris Akamnonu, told Customers' Parliament recently in Lagos that over 6,000 prepaid meters were tampered with, out of about 90,000 prepaid meters that were installed by the company.

He stated that despite the introduction of such modern technology of prepaid metering to ensure that electricity consumers pay only for what they consume, some unscrupulous customers still connive with local electricians to tamper with the meters.

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