EEDC Cries Out Over High Rate Of Electricity Facilities’ Vandalism

By Tony Adibe

The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC) has cried out over the increased cases of vandalization of its electrical facilities within the South-East zone of Nigeria.

Also, the company said that it felt worried about the current turn of events where vandals now resort to draining transformer oil, thereby subjecting the transformer to the risk of blowing up once supply was restored.

The EEDC, as a matter of urgency, has appealed to its numerous customers to be more vigilant and safeguard the electricity installations serving them to avoid some unscrupulous elements keeping them in darkness, especially “as we are going into the yuletide”.

But in an attempt to stop the negative development, in collaboration with its customers and other key stakeholders, eight suspected vandals were arrested for attacking power equipment belonging to EEDC and have been handed over to the police for proper investigation and possible prosecution.

The Head of Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr. Emeka Ezeh, who disclosed this to journalists in Enugu on Thursday, explained that within the last quarter of the year, “there is no day the company does not record an average of three transformers attacked across its franchise areas, most of which have their oil drained.”

According to Ezeh, “Before now, the vandals have been carting away armoured cables and bare conductors, but in recent times, we record more cases of drained transformer oil which poses greater danger to the transformer because it could get damaged when energized without any oil in it.”

He further said: “Once vandalism happens, our customers are thrown into darkness, homes are affected, and businesses are affected too as losses are recounted amid the inconveniences that lack of electricity supply brings.”

The EEDC Spokesman also stated: “at Ndiagbo Ofeke Ishieke in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, the vigilante group arrested Chinonso Mgbada, a native of Ugwuachara, also in Ebonyi Local Government Area, along Ohatekwe Road, Ishieke, while vandalizing aluminium conductors belonging to EEDC.

“At Umuobia Olokoro, Umuahia, Abia State, Onyebuchi Uchechi was arrested by the villagers for vandalizing aluminum conductors in their community, while the duo of Chiwendu Chukwuemeka and Azubuike Chinemere, were arrested by vigilante group at Onuinyan Village in Bende, Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, for vandalizing aluminum conductors, property of EEDC.”

Ezeh recalled that “a 24-year-old Okechi Chukwuebuka, a native of Aguleru in Anambra East Local Government Area, who resides at Umudim village, Nnewi, was arrested by vigilante group for vandalizing a Transformer located at Ozubulu.

“Ikechukwu Okafor was arrested along with his shuttle bus with registration number TTK165XA, by Ndiogbuonyeoma Ndiuche Arondiuzuogu Okigwe Community Vigilante, for vandalizing their electricity power line; while Okechukwu Okafor and Toochukwu Ike, were arrested by indigenes of Amuzam in Ugbuawka Community, Nkanu East Local Government Area, Enugu State, for vandalizing five spans of High-Tension wires in their community.”

The negative effects of vandalism do not only affect electricity consumers, but also have their own toll on the distribution company, as huge sum is expended in restoring vandalized facilities while billions of Naira is lost in revenue, according to Ezeh.

He further confessed: “This year alone, we have spent close to N300 Million in the replacement and restoration of vandalized facilities, so as to ensure our customers are not left in darkness, even as the number of unattended cases are on the rise with daily occurrences”

“Customers are encouraged to see themselves as part owners of the facilities, though they belong to EEDC, but they are there to serve them, and once they are vandalized, they remain out of supply until the issue is addressed”.

While acknowledging and appreciating the efforts of the Community Vigilante groups and other security agencies in curbing the menace of vandalism, Ezeh said:  “we would not hesitate to encourage other neighbourhoods/areas to organize and set up a local security outfit that will help safeguard the facilities that serve them among other responsibilities.”

Related posts