The Regional Manager, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Waheed Salami, has decried the spate of energy theft by consumers in its areas of operations in the western part of the country.
He stated that while electricity consumers used N4.2bn worth of energy in the months of April and May, the company was able to collect a paltry sum of N1.8bn, leaving a deficit of N2.4bn.
Salami spoke at a forum organised by the company for its customers in Osogbo, on Thursday.
Before the forum in Osogbo, the company had held similar programmes in Ikirun and Ilesa to sensitise the communities on the plight of the company and how residents could partner with the firm to overcome the challenges.
According to him, the low revenue generation by the IBEDC is occasioned by the activities of fraudulent persons who enjoy electricity supply without paying their bills and those who bypass the prepaid metres installed in their buildings.
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He described the activities of energy thieves as economic sabotage, which could further worsen the bad situation of electricity supply in the country, if not quickly curbed.
Salami said, “We are not the sole owner of electricity in the country, we are only one out of about seven which we are responsible for electricity distribution in the western part of the country.
“In the western part of the country, under the control of the IBEDC, electricity consumers consumed N4.2bn energy worth in April, so also in May.
“But we are unable to meet up with the target from the revenue that was released to us in the month of May- we were only able to collect N1.8bn.”
To curb these activities, which are resulting in economic loss for the company, the IBEDC boss said the company had initiated a campaign tagged ‘Blow the whistle.’
The campaign, he said, would enable members of the communities in the areas to report illegal connection, theft, vandalism and corrupt practices by officials of the company through some designated telephone lines.
The Business Manager, IBEDC, Mr. Ajijola Bewaji, said customers must pay for electricity they used and assist the company by reporting any case of vandalism and energy theft to security agencies or the IBEDC.