By Amechi Obiakpu
Five youths are now cooling their heels in prison custody for their roles in the vandalisation of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) ‘High Street’ 500KVA 11/0.415KV distribution sub-station situated in Okpara Avenue in Enugu.
They are Emeka Okoye (21 years), Victor Agu (25 years), Ikem Okefi (25 years), Chinedu Agwara (21 years) and Onyebuchi Nweke (22 years).
Emeka Ezeh, Head Corporate Communications, EEDC said in a statement that the vandals were apprehended as they were burning off the insulation of the armoured cable to gain access to the copper wire and were immediately handed over to the Police for further prosecution.
“They have since been arraigned at the Magistrate Court 4, Enugu, and subsequently remanded in prison custody. The court charge is No. 619c/2016 and have been referred to the Enugu State Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) for further trial at the Federal High Court.”
Ezeh said the management of EEDC frowned at the increasing rate at which some few elements in the society choose to inconvenience others by vandalizing electrical installations provided to serve the general public.
He enthused: “In October, 2016, the utility company recorded no fewer than 18 distribution substations that were vandalised. This has been a reoccurring act which has not only affected the company’s revenue drastically, but also its operations; thereby making it difficult for the company to effectively attend to the growing needs of its customers.
“We are bogged down by requests from our District Offices and Service Centers for the procurement and replacement of these vandalised equipment which ranges from armoured cables (including intermediate and up-riser cables) and transformer oils, and the cost implication for replacing these equipment run into millions of Naira.
“Despite these challenges, we have continued to provide service to our customers; it is difficult for any company to survive with this kind of harsh situation. We therefore continue to seek the support and cooperation of our customers in ensuring that these installations provided to serve them are protected against vandals,” he said.
EEDC however, reassured its esteemed customers of its total commitment to providing them with quality and efficient service.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) will be commissioning another Forum Office in Owerri, Imo State. The event which is holding under the jurisdiction of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) is scheduled to hold in Owerri on Wednesday, November 9, 2016, and will be commissioned by the Acting Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NERC, Dr. Anthony Akah.
The commissioning brings the total number of NERC Forum Offices within the EEDC coverage area to four, namely; Enugu, Abakaliki, Awka and Owerri with a Zonal Office in Owerri.
The effort is in line with the NERC’s mission to promote and ensure an investor-friendly industry and efficient market structure to meet the needs of Nigerians for safe, adequate, reliable and affordable electricity.
The setting up of the forum office by NERC is to ensure electricity disputes are resolved and that customers have a say in what affects them as customers of electricity providers.
With the commissioning of this additional office, customers within Imo State can now escalate their electricity complaints to the forum office after they must have lodged their complaint at the Customer Complaint Unit (CCU) of the Distribution Company and not satisfied with their
The event will have in attendance management and staff of NERC, EEDC and other key stakeholders.