42 people electrocuted in five months due to faulty electricity systems

By Energy Worth

Forty-two persons lost their lives in 38 fatal accidents caused by faulty systems in the electricity distribution arm of the power sector between January and May this year.

Ten of the recorded fatalities were employees of the different power firms, while the remaining 32 were individuals who did not work in the industry.

Aside the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, the remaining 10 Discos recorded fatalities, either by losing one or more employees, or one or more power users in their various franchise areas.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria maintained a clean sheet in the five-month period, as it recorded no fatality.

Data obtained from the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency in Abuja showed that during the period, the sector also witnessed 16 accidents that resulted into injuries.

Ten employees of the power distribution firms were injured in the 16 accidents, while the number of third party injuries was put at 13.

Other non-Disco/TCN deaths witnessed in the sector were eight, as the Yola Disco had about four cases in this category, while the Jos and Abuja Discos recorded one and three cases each.

The number of bad network issues reported to the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency between January and May this year was put at 2,109, while 1,014 bad network cases were resolved by the Discos during the review period.

The agency said operators in the sector must note that NEMSA’s target was zero electrocution nationwide, adding that the Discos were encouraged to report any domestic electrocution not directly connected with their networks.

“This will not count against their ranking,” the power management agency said.

On April 16 this year, it was reported that the defective networks of power distribution companies led to the untimely death of 22 people within a space of three months.

It was reported that 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.

Our correspondent gathered that the faulty systems many accidents in the sector during the five months period due to system protection equipment failures, total absence of protection devices in some cases, as well as 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 and consumers.

The electricity management agency charged the power firms to intensify efforts to revamp and calibrate their protection schemes and equipment, rectify their defective networks to prevent electrical accidents, and reduce technical losses.

NEMSA further charged the power distributors to educate their customers on the need for extreme caution when using electricity.