We lost N4bn to vandalism, cable theft in 6 months, says Eko Disco
Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) has disclosed that it has lost about N4 billion of its assets and electrical installations to vandalism in the last six months.
This was made known by Tinuade Sanda, managing director of EKEDC at a press briefing on Wednesday in Lagos.
Sanda said the company faced more vandalism in Mushin and Ijora, leading to unaccounted problems.
She said the peril had made it difficult for the company to provide adequate electricity to its customers, also posing a serious threat to its distribution infrastructure, especially the electricity cables.
“Today, I want to bring to the attention of the public, the spate of vandalism within our network in the last few weeks, especially in areas such as Mushin, Yaba, Surulere, Ijora, Apapa and Lagos Island,” Sanda said.
“These cases of vandalism have contributed in no small measure to the prolonged outages in our network, leading to disruptions of many businesses, maiming/injury, and loss of lives, particularly of innocent and unsuspecting members of the public.
“We have witnessed 18 incidents, and from our estimate, we have lost about N3 billion to the underground armoured cables that are being stolen and resold in the black market.
“In terms of revenue losses due to prolonged outages, we also estimate an additional loss of N1 billion, which means we have lost about N4 billion to these activities of vandals.”
Sanda also said the electricity distribution company had not given any mandate to any company to carry out any form of excavation on any electrical or cable installations within its network.
According to her, EKEDC is engaging the ministry of power, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises over the claim by a company that it had a contract to decommission underground cables within its network.
“Eko Disco operations are carried out only by our authorised staff and operatives who can be easily identified with the EKEDC branded coveralls and jackets,” she added.
“I am, therefore, calling on our customers, security agencies and most importantly the media, and the public to be vigilant and assist us in this fight against vandalism within our franchise area and put an end to these incessant acts of criminality.”
She, however, appealed to the public to report shady deals or any person(s) posing as staff of Eko Disco to the security agencies or contact the company through its various whistleblower channels.
“These challenges have adversely affected the supply of power to our customers,” she added.
“However, I would like to reiterate to our esteemed customers that we are actively engaging the other stakeholders in the industry to provide solutions to these problems.”