By Peter Uzoho
The Ikeja Electric (IE) Plc said it has introduced incentives for those willing to expose energy thieves within its network.
The initiative is part of the Disco’s effort to curtail incidence of energy theft.
IE said for established cases of energy theft, the whistle-blower would be rewarded from the reconnection penalty paid by the culprit in accordance with the fees stipulated in the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) Order on Unauthorised Access to Electricity Supply, Meter Tampering and Bypass for non-maximum demand and maximum demand customers.
It explained that where the culprit is a non-maximum demand customer, the whistle-blower receives up to 10 per cent of the reconnection penalty paid by the culprit while in a case that involves a maximum demand offender, the whistle-blower receives up to five percent of the reconnection /penalty paid by the culprit.
IE added that whistle-blowers would only be rewarded after the culprit has made full payment of the fees, noting however, that, where the report is made in the name of multiple individuals. Only one whistle blower per case will be rewarded.
The Head of Corporate Communications, IE, Mr. Felix Ofulue, explained in a statement that, “whistle-blowers of energy theft cases who wish to be rewarded must provide their full name, contact telephone number, e-mail address and customer account number (where the whistle-blower resides within the IE network); without which it may be difficult to reach out and reward such whistle-blowers.”
Ofulue further stated: “All reports submitted through any medium will be considered confidential.
“The company views whistleblowing as a positive practice that enables it detect incidents of unethical conduct, fraud and other illegal activities early; thus, providing the opportunity to take corrective measures.
“This is done in a confidential manner that enables IE investigate the alleged misconduct and take necessary steps to deal with the misconduct.”
In addition, he stated that where the report was established to have been made in bad faith or for the purposes of personal gain or malicious intent, it will not be eligible for compensation. It also not applicable where the report was not made using the aforementioned whistleblowing channels.
Ofulue further reiterated the company’s commitment to global best practices in business ethics, stating its strict adherence to its policy of zero tolerance to bribery and corruption, with focus on upholding ethics and integrity.
“Ikeja Electric is committed to a culture of zero-tolerance against fraud, bribery, corruption, misappropriation, illegal activities and unethical conduct throughout its operations”, he said.