MR Chukwuemeka Ezeh, Head of Communications, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) lamented the company’s N1.9 billion loss of revenue to energy thieves every month.
Ezeh expressed concern over the ugly situation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Sunday.
He said the situation posed a serious challenge to the company’s commitment to efficient service delivery and profitability.
He explained that energy theft occurred when customers bypassed the meter in their buildings thereby disconnecting such buildings and businesses from the EEDC network.
“Energy theft is a big challenge to the business; it accounts for monthly revenue loss of about N1.9 billion.
“This comes by way of meter bypass and activity of some people in the society engaging in hooking up of wire onto our network to steal electricity,” he said.
Ezeh said however that the company had set up a taskforce to fish out those involved in the criminal act for appropriate sanction.
According to him, the debt owed the electricity company by its customers currently is well over N80 billion.
“Our cumulative debt profile is well over N80 billion; this includes shortfalls of unpaid bills by customers as well as the interest we have paid to our bank for these shortfalls.,” he said.
The head of communication said that enumeration of customers in its area of coverage had commenced to forestall further theft of energy and ensure efficient service delivery.
He appealed to the customers to pay for the services they enjoyed to enable the company remain afloat.
Ezeh urged customers in Awka who had objections to their bills, especially between January and February when there was an outage for some weeks, to lodge their complaints properly instead of grumbling.
He explained that despite the restoration of the faulty transmission station in Awka, power was still being rationed in the state because of the quantum of energy received from the national grid.
“At our last engagement with our customers, we informed them that they will not be billed for the period they did not have a supply.
“It is important to also note that supply was given to customers in the affected area in Awka for 11 days in the month of January, and those days of supply will definitely be paid for.
“It is equally important that some customers with outstanding balances should know that even when they are out of supply, bills will still be presented to them.
“Customers should understand that we are only a distribution company; we cannot give what we don’t have and we can only distribute our own allocation of the generated energy.
“At the moment we only get nine percent of total energy generated in the country,” he said.
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