The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, has established a Special Investigation and Prosecution Task force on Electricity Offences (SIPTEO). The EEDC head of communications, Emeka Ezeh, made this disclosure in a statement issued to newsmen on Sunday in Enugu.
According to the statement, the development is to checkmate individuals and organisations, engaging in energy theft and vandalism of electrical infrastructure.
He said that those behind electricity theft and vandalism were in for a tough time in all the company’s operational states.
Mr Ezeh noted that the company warned all those involved in criminal act on electrical installations to be ready for the task force team, ”as there will be no sacred cow”.
He noted that during the task force inauguration, the acting managing director of the company, Paul Okeke, charged the SIPTEO team to be professional in the discharge of its responsibility.
Also, on the occasion, Okeke urged the committee to exhibit a high level of integrity and respect for human rights.
The statement quoted Mr Okeke as saying, “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 monthly”.
Mr Okeke decried the situation that was currently threatening the performance and sustainability of the company in the states of its operations.
“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 increase in revenue and more efficient service delivery to electricity customers in the South East,” Mr Okeke said.
The team leader of the 18-man SIPTEO, SP Spencer Tyozua, assured the EEDC management that his men, who had been carefully selected for the task, would be responsible and professional in the discharge of their duties.
It will be recalled that SIPTEO, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice, EEDC and the Nigeria Police, was first inaugurated in Abuja in 2017, under the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 and other regulations.
The act empowers the task force to investigate, arrest and prosecute cases of theft, vandalism as well as recovery of lost revenue.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that EEDC operations cover the five states in the South-East, which include: Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo and Enugu States.