EEDC Cries Out Over Rising Cases of Energy Theft
By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja
Management of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), has cried out against recurring incidence of outright energy theft and meter bypass within the South-East region of Nigeria.
The Disco said this development is seriously affecting the revenue base of the company. “This development has consistently impacted negatively on the revenue of the company and ultimately impacted its ability to meet up with its obligations to market operators,” the Head, corporate communications, EEDC, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, said in a statement on Sunday in Enugu.
The tragedy of the situation, he said is that high profile companies and industrial concerns and the customers leading the energy theft in the East.
Ezeh recounted the recent apprehension of one of a high profile, energy consuming firms by the company’s task force team, for involving in meter bypass. The EEDC spokesman said the customer totally bypassed the meter installed in his facility and directly connected the armored cables from the mains to the factory, a situation that kept the meter idle while the customer was busy consuming energy.
“It was gathered that the customer, now a third time offender in meter bypass, is in the habit of downing tools during the day (giving the impression of low business activity) only to resume full operations at night when EEDC officials must have all closed for the day,” he said.
According to him, luck ran out on the company as in formation got to the Disco and the company was busted and caught in the act by the EEDC task force.
The company spokesman said the erring company in question is just one out of many cases of energy theft in the Disco’s network. “The increasing rate at which our company’s high energy-consuming customers are engaging in the act of sabotage has become alarming,” Ezeh said, stating that something has to be done about it.
He also cited another example of a high profile customer in Owerri, who caught with his meter completely tampered with, ins such a way the meter was no longer properly linked to the network of the EEDC.
“The customer in Owerri has been apprehended the fourth time for engaging in meter tampering and illegal reconnection. Another one located at Emene Industrial Layout in Enugu has been caught thrice for engaging in meter tampering and insertion of resistors on all the phases behind the meter board.
“If this growing trend is not abated, the sector will continue to feel the negative impact of these infractions,” the EEDC spokesman said.
Ezeh said that in a related development at Woliwo area of Onitsha, Anambra, a prepaid meter connected to a residential building was bypassed.
“When discovered by the team of the task force, one of the occupants of the building resisted the team from disconnecting the building; thus, threatening them with a cutlass. It took the intervention of the police to carry out the disconnection,” he said.
He said all the cases so detected within the EEDC network, and subsequent offenders shall be prosecuted by law, in addition to disconnection of the premises.