Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja
The defective networks of power distribution companies led to the untimely death of 22 people within a space of three months.
Between January and March this year, six employees of five distribution companies and 16 other people were electrocuted as a result of one or more defective systems in the distribution arm of the industry.
The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, in its latest report on safety ranking of the Discos and the Transmission Company of Nigeria, which was obtained in Abuja on Sunday, asked the power distributors to rectify their defective networks, describing this as a priority.
Of the 11 Discos in the country, eight recorded fatalities that involved either an employee or a third party during the period under review.
Network issues in Benin, Eko, Enugu and Ibadan Discos resulted in the untimely death of five, one, one, and four persons, respectively in the first three months of this year.
Also, distribution system issues at Yola, Jos, Kaduna and Kano Discos led to one, four, three and three fatalities, respectively during the same period.
The Abuja, Ikeja and Port Harcourt Discos, as well as the TCN, however, recorded no fatality in the first quarter.
The defective networks of the Discos led to many accidents, which were caused by system protection equipment failures, total absence of protection devices in some cases, as well as vandalism, according to NEMSA.
Other causes of accidents in the sector include poor termination and maintenance of ageing networks, right of way issues, non-adherence to safety rules and regulations, poor response to monitored networks, use of substandard materials, and inadequate knowledge on the part of operators or consumers.
The electricity management agency charged the power firms to intensify efforts at revamping and calibrating their protection schemes and equipment, rectify their defective networks to prevent electrical accidents and reduce technical losses.
NEMSA further charged the power distributors to educate their customers on the need for extreme caution when using electricity.
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