Electricity theft is a very common practice in Nigeria today. Electricity consumers practice various forms of theft and it is seen amongst most consumers as a norm rather than a CRIME punishable by the law. Many commit this crime without even knowing that it is a crime. A large percentage of electricity consumers in Nigeria only associate electricity theft with illegal connections to the national grid.
It has become obvious that in order to combat this vice that has plagued our nation’s power sector for so long, the people need to first be educated about electricity theft and its effects. So if you’re one of those that think of illegal connection as the only form of electricity theft, please read on… You just might be guilty of one of them.
Here are the various ways of committing electricity theft;
This refers to connecting to the power line without due consultation and approval from the relevant Distribution Companies. Hooking or tapping directly from the line. This has almost become a culture in some parts of Nigeria, with people openly connecting to the national grid without the distribution companies knowledge. Aside for this been a crime and a source of accumulated electricity debt, it is actually very dangerous to for consumers or untrained persons to conduct such operations.
Likewise, when an electricity consumer is disconnected by the distribution company and the re-connects back to the grid without offsetting his outstanding bills, it is considered as electricity theft.
Non-Payment of Electricity Bills:
One of the biggest problems that electricity distribution companies in Nigeria have is the accumulation of debt as a result of electricity consumers refusing to pay their bills. Some consumers use electricity for months without paying and sometimes even end up transferring the debt to new residents of their houses. This is a very bad but common practice here in Nigeria.
Meter by-pass occurs when an electricity consumer taps into the power line from a point without the consumption measurement on the meter. However, this is not the only form of meter by-pass. In some cases, electricity consumers will actually tweak their meters so that it doesn’t read consumption or it incorrectly reads consumption.
- Finally, Collision with corrupt distribution company staff to stay connected to the grid without offsetting electricity bills. Due to a large number of staff members in distribution companies in Nigeria, it becomes very easy to come across corrupt electricity officers who accept bribes and connive with consumers to keep them illegally connected to the grid.
So, there you have it. Above is the list of activities you need to stay away from or possibly report if witnessed.
If you witness any of the above, however, and wish to report, you can always call the S4 Electricity Theft and Corruption hotline on 09085555055 or log on to www.s4report.com to submit a report in less than five minutes.
They say “Ignorance is bliss“, but they also say “Ignorance is no excuse for the law“…