Individuals and organisations engaging in acts of energy theft and meter bypass, as well as those involved in the vandalism of electrical infrastructure, are in for tough times as the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) on Thursday formally inaugurated a Special Investigation and Prosecution Taskforce on Electricity Offences (SIPTEO).
The event which took place at the company’s corporate headquarters was presided over by the Acting Managing Director/CEO, Mr Paul Okeke, in company of a member of the Board of Directors, Dr Steve Dike; the Technical Adviser to the Board, Mr. Yateesh Kumar; the company’s Transformational Consultant, Mr. Okey Nwosu; Head of Taskforce, Miss Chinenye Okafor and other members of Executive Management of the company.
In his remark during the event, Mr Okeke charged the team to be professional in the discharge of their responsibility, stressing the need for high level of integrity and respect for human rights.
He said that the high prevalence of meter bypass and energy theft in the South East has been a serious challenge to EEDC, as the company has consistently recorded losses in its revenue on a monthly basis. A situation that is currently threatening the performance and sustainability of the company.
It is therefore expected that with the inauguration of SIPTEO, the rate of theft and vandalism within the network will be reduced and this will bring about an increase in revenue and more efficient service delivery to electricity customers in the South East.
The leader of the 18-man special squad, SP. Spencer Tyozua, assured the management of EEDC that his men, who have been carefully selected for this job, will be responsible and professional in the discharge of the assigned task.
It will be recalled that SIPTEO, which is a collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Justice, EEDC and the Nigeria Police Force, was first inaugurated in Abuja in the year 2017, under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 and other regulations which empowers the taskforce to investigate, arrest and prosecute cases of theft, vandalism as well as recovery of lost revenue.
EEDC has, therefore, warned all those involved in this criminal act that there will be no sacred cow.