Eko, Ibadan Discos Decry Spate of Violent Attacks on Electricity Workers

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.As Eko receives equipment from USAID
Ejiofor Alike
The Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) and Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) have raised the alarm over the spate of violent attacks on their workers and vowed to prosecute the offenders.

This is company as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Power Africa has donated Bucket Truck to EKEDC to boost the company’s distribution capacity and its ability to reduce technical losses.

While reacting to a case of violent attack on a staff of the company in Apapa District in which a staff of the company was beaten to bleeding point, Company’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr. Godwin Idemudia said in a statement at the weekend that the company was fully determined to put a stop to such acts through prosecution of perpetrators.
Idemudia warned perpetrators of such act to desist from it forthwith as the company would stop at nothing within the ambit of the law to ensure that perpetrators do not go unpunished.

Idemudia argued that neither poor power supply nor billing error should be a plausible excuse for anybody to take the law into his hands and unleash violence on workers on their lawful duties, adding that the company only supplies power to its customers based on the bulk energy load it receives from the national grid.
This, he said, means that if the generation level is low nationwide, adding that it will also affect power supply to electricity customers not only in Eko Disco operational territory, but also all electricity customers nationwide.
While admitting the right of customers to lodge complaint against any aspect of the company’s operations, the Eko Disco’s chief spokesman said rather than resorting to acts of vandalism on its staff and property, the company expected any customer having complaint regarding the company’s operations to exercise his right to lodge complaint through lawful avenues.

He listed such avenues as contacting the customer care centre either on phone or online, putting such complaint in black and white or coming directly to any of the operational units of the company to lodge the complaint.
In a separate statement at the weekend, IBEDC also decried the spate of assault on its staff ccarrying out their lawful duties, following a recent assault of its staff by a customer at Olukotun Area, Idi-Orogbo, Yawiri Area in Ibadan.
According to the statement by the company, the customer’s premises had earlier been disconnected in line with NERC regulation for bypassing his prepaid meter and using IBEDC energy without paying.

The statement alleged that the customer illegally reconnected his power supply without recourse to IBEDC.
“On discovery of this illegality by IBEDC staff, the attempt to disconnect the customer was unsuccessful, as the customer became violent, attacking IBEDC staff who was still on the ladder, and pulled him down forcibly,” the statement said.

The company vowed that it will do everything within the ambit of the law to ensure that its staff and property are protected.
It also noted that vandalism is another major challenge affecting its operations, as it loses millions of Naira to this menace.
To curb these infractions against its business, IBEDC said it has actively prosecuted any criminal activity that hampers effective delivery of service to its esteemed customers, adding that it has also secured eight convictions on vandalism among which are the recently decided cases of: C.O.P.v. Oloyede Yinusa; C.O.P.v. Haruna Idris and C.O.P.v. Adewale Adekunle whose jail term range between one month to three years.
IBEDC added that it has also secured judgement at the Kwara State High Court in the sum of N500,000 as damages, among other declarations, in favour of its staff, Abdulsalam Bolaji who was viciously assaulted by one Col. Taofiq Adesina.

In a related development, USAID Power Africa has donated Bucket Truck to the company.
In his brief remark while receiving the equipment, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EKEDC, Mr. Adeoye Fadeyibi said USAID’s gesture was a celebration of another milestone achievement by the company’s partnership with the US agency.
According to him, the distribution equipment will help his company’s technical staff to perform their duties unhindered.
“The bucket truck will ensure that we are able to do things in a better way. We will be able to perform our functions very well and get to our customers faster. USAID Power Africa and EKEDC have shown how things need to be done in our industry and in Nigeria at large. We are here today celebrating another milestone achieved by EKEDC with the partnership we have with Power Africa,” Fadeyibi explained.

Speaking on behalf of USAID Power Africa while delivering the equipment to EKEDC, the USAID representative, Mr Gela Kereselidze said the Bucket Truck was the second batch of equipment donated to EKEDC to enhance its performance.
Kereselidze said the truck would assist the company in terms of better response to faults reported by electricity consumers, thereby reducing technical and commercial losses.

“The new capacity is equivalent to some 400 Megawatts (MW) of gas to power, and has been enabled by the construction of a second train at the Agbara/Ota Pressure Reduction and Metering Station (PRMS) in Ogun State, from where SNG supplied its first customers with gas. “The expansion project shows the commitment of Shell to Nigeria’s industrialisation through the monetisation of Nigeria’s abundant gas resources,” Ubong said.
Ubong said the modules for the second train were fabricated by a Nigerian company which collaborated with its foreign partners to safely execute the project without any Lost Time injuries (LTI’s).

“We are continuing the campaign for gas by discussing with various stakeholders to deepen and expand domestic gas supply to existing industrial and new manufacturing clusters in various locations in Nigeria,” he added.
SNG’s existing gas distribution system in the three states it operates – Ogun, Abia and Rivers – have boosted manufacturing output and helped these states to grow their internally generated revenues and provide local employment opportunities.
The company had executed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Rivers State Government for the distribution of gas to industries in the Greater Port Harcourt area and its environs. The agreement provides further opportunities for SNG to promote gas as a more reliable, cleaner and cost-effective alternative to liquid fuels in Nigeria.