The management of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), on Sunday, decried the rising spate of outright energy theft and meter bypass within the South-East.
A spokesperson for the EEDC, Emeka Ezeh, in a statement stressed that the company had been investing in its network infrastructure to improve operations, “but this cannot be sustained if customers continue to sabotage these efforts,” he said.
Mr Ezeh, while recounting recent apprehension of customers by the task force team, said energy theft has had negative impacts on the revenue 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,” he said.
According to him, one of the company’s maximum demand customers totally bypassed the meter installed in his facility and directly connected the armoured 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.
“Luck, however, ran out on them when they were busted and caught in the act by the task force,” he said.
While noting that several others were arrested multiple times, Mr Ezeh lamented at the increasing rate at which the company’s high energy-consuming customers are engaging in the act of sabotage, stressing that there was a need to nip this in the board.
“If this growing trend is not abated, the sector will continue to feel the negative impact of these infractions,” the EEDC spokesman said.
Mr Ezeh appealed to customers engaging any of these evil acts to desist from such acts, adding that the task force would continue to be on the lookout for offenders and when caught appropriate sanctions would be applied.