In a safety ranking report on the Distribution Electricity Companies (DisCos) and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) by the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency( NEMSA), 22 people had died within three (3) months due to the defective networks of Power Distribution Companies. 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 report revealed that among the eleven (11) Distribution companies in the country, only four (4) did not record fatalities that involved either an employee or a third party during the period under review. Eko Electric, Enugu Electric, Benin Electric and Ibadan Electric Discos had network issues which resulted in the death of one(1),one(1), five(5) and four (4) persons respectively during the first 3 months of the 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 however, the Abuja, Ikeja and Port Harcourt Discos, as well as the TCN, did not record any fatality in the first quarter.
NEMSA claims that the defective networks of the Discos which led to many accidents were caused by system protection equipment failures, total absence of protection devices in some cases and also vandalism. 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 also 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.