The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) has issued a stern warning to anyone involved in energy theft, vandalism and illegal metering.
The company said it would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute offenders in accordance with the law.
The Managing Director of IBEDC, Engr. Kinsley Achife, made this known at a stakeholders engagement meeting held in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, on Tuesday.
He said the meeting was aimed at improving the relationship between the company and its customers, as well as soliciting their cooperation in paying their outstanding bills.
Achife, who was represented by the Lead Media Officer of IBEDC, Busolami Tunwase, said that energy theft is a crime that affects the quality of service delivery and the revenue of the company.
He said the company has recorded huge losses due to energy theft, vandalism and illegal meter usage in Ogun State.
He said “We have called this meeting to seek better working relationships with our customers but this we cannot do if they are not paying for the services being rendered.
He cited the new Electricity Act signed by President Bola Tinubu as a legal instrument that empowers the company to deal with cases of energy theft and assault of its staff.
He urged the customers to respect the law and refrain from such acts.
He said “The Electricity Act states that whoever is caught using illegal power or assaulting IBEDC staff is liable to face the wrath of the law.
“We want to appeal to the people of Ijebu on energy theft, we are losing billions of Naira to energy theft. As we speak, Ogun State total debt is over N74billion. While total NMD which is Non Maximum Demand Customers is over N67billion.
He also warned the customers against tampering with meters, vandalizing electrical installations and moving meters from one location to another without authorization from IBEDC.
He said these are forms of energy theft that attract 21 years imprisonment.
He said “Another thing is vandalism, because the law states that do not tamper with electrical installation, and in case of vandalism, it attracts 21 years jail term. Illegal removal or movement of meter from one place to another is a form of energy theft.
Furthermore, Achife appealed to the customers to stop attacking and injuring its staff, saying that they can always report any misconduct or dissatisfaction to the company for appropriate action.
He said the company values its customers and wants to serve them better.
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