Abuja Disco Alerts on Increasing Destruction of Its Assets by Vandals

*Begins collaboration with security agencies

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

Abuja Electricity Distribution Plc (AEDC) yesterday expressed deep concern over the high frequency of incidents of vandalism of its electrical assets and installations across its franchise area.

The Disco which covers Abuja, Niger, Kogi and Nasarawa, stated that the incidents have seriously impeded the company’s efforts to deliver stable and reliable power supply to its customers.

In a statement by the Chief Marketing Officer of the company, Mr Donald Etim, the management of the Disco while condemning the destruction of its assets, explained that this has disrupted some of its activities.
Following its desire to ensure improved power supply, the AEDC said it last year activated a ‘rich basket’ of technical and commercial projects that would upon completion significantly improve power supply to customers and thereby enrich customer experience.

It stated that some elements of these various projects involved the procurement and installation of electrical equipment worth millions of naira.
“ Unfortunately, many of these installations are currently being vandalised across the network, causing very painful power supply disruptions, untold hardship and losses to its customers, and huge financial and reputation losses to the company.

‘‘The surge in cases of vandalism within our franchise area has become quite worrisome, especially so because these vandals lately, increasingly utilise unfathomable methods to perpetrate their criminal acts.
“This technique upgrade to their evil trade has emboldened the thieves to attack more of urban assets and installations of late, thereby affecting higher customer densities,” it pointed out.

Recently, it noted that 185 meters of XLPE underground cable was carted away at the Central Business Area, Abuja FCT, valued at over N5 million  at just one location out of several others that have been similarly affected across its franchise. “The multiplier effect of these damages runs into billions of naira,” it noted.

According to him, the AEDC will never relent in its efforts to ensure it provides adequate uninterrupted power supply, hence the company’s continued investments in network upgrades, refurbishment of faulty transformers, procurement of new transformers as well as the construction of new feeders and lines to relieve existing ones.

 “On the customer side of things, we have gone mobile with our metering drive by physically taking meters out to customer cluster locations and getting them metered within 24 hours.
“There are at least 27 such locations currently operational within our franchise today, excluding our formal offices. We have launched multiple payment channels, including USSD short codes, that allow our customers vend power at zero commission.

“ We have also launched a verify-staff platform that enables customers, for their safety, to quickly verify AEDC visitors to their premises by simply inputting the said staff’s identity card number into a link connected directly to our website,” it added.

Also, as part of efforts to curb the menace of vandalism on its network, the management of AEDC said it has strengthened its collaboration with security agencies, including the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigeria Police, community leaders, and has even recently set up a civilian joint task force component.

“These collaborations have resulted in increased security patrol exercises, aggressive community sensitisation, several arrests and successful prosecutions. The company is also working towards deploying a remote monitoring system for locations with high incidences of vandalism,” it added.

The company called on all its customers and citizens in general, to be security conscious and immediately report all suspicious activities around electrical installations and any display of bad behaviour by AEDC staff by calling the whistle-blower phone number.

“Apprehended vandals will be made to face the consequences of their actions in line with the laws of Nigeria as no less than five vandals bagged several jail terms within AEDC franchise area last year,” it noted.

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