Ejiofor Alike
The Nigerian Army has pledged its readiness to partner the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) to curb energy theft and vandalism in the company’s franchise areas.

This followed a sustained campaign by the company against energy theft, vandalism of its equipment and violent attack and harassment of its staff by electricity consumers.

Giving the promise of support on behalf of the army was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division of Nigerian Army in Lagos, Major General Enobong Okon Udoh when the management of Eko Disco led by the MD/CEO of the company Mr. Adeoye Fadeyibi paid him a courtesy visit in his Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island office in Lagos.

Udoh noted that the responsibility of protecting electricity equipment and staff of the distribution company against violent attack and harassment does not primarily belong to the army.

He, however, added that the army could still support the campaign by facilitating synergy between the company and other security agencies, especially the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigerian Police.

Udoh further also noted that although EKEDC is now a private company, he stressed that the services it renders is public-oriented and therefore, requires the support of all patriotic citizens.
According to him, protecting electricity facilities against vandalism is for the socio-economic development of the country and as such a task to be taken serious by all patriotic citizens.

Commenting on the debt owed by the army in respect of electricity bills, the army chief said the army, not being a profit generating outfit, depends largely on funding from the federal government to meet its financial obligation.

He further disclosed that a committee to review electricity bills owed by military formations nationwide had been set up and assured that every debt owed by the armed forces would eventually be settled.

Udoh also assured that EKDC officials would be allowed free access into the barracks to carry out their official duties without any fear of harassment or molestation.

While advocating for bulk metering of residential quarters and offices within the barracks, Udoh said mammy markets and other commercial concerns should be supplied with pre-paid meters to make operators of such commercial ventures pay for energy consumed.

Speaking earlier, Fadeyibi said the visit to the GOC was to further strengthen the already cordial relationship existing between the army and the company.

Adeoye also said that the drive towards quality and regular power supply in the country is one that should not be left in the hands of the Distribution Companies alone adding that regular electricity supply would trigger unprecedented socio-economic growth across the country.