By KUNLE KALEJAYE
The Management of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, (DISCO) has raised an alarm over the increased rate of vandalism of its equipment in many parts of its network in Lagos.
The company explained that vandalism which had initially reduced after the conviction of two vandals to various terms of imprisonment assumed a wider dimension in the last six months of 2012.
During this period, Ikeja DISCO said a total number of 69 distribution transformer substations were vandalised and various electrical items were stolen from these stations, thereby throwing the Communities being supplied from the stations into darkness.
Apart from throwing communities into darkness, Ikeja DISCO in a statement obtained by Vanguard said the cost of replacing vandalised equipment is colossal and it can no longer bear such costs.
The management of the company maintained that over N20million has been spent to replace the vandalised equipment in the 67 substations. “This amount would have been better expended on new projects for network expansion.”
The management therefore, urged Community Development Associations, CDAs, and other well-meaning community members to be on the alert and assist the power company in curbing equipment vandalism in their localities.
The management also called for the continued support of the Police, the State Security Service, SSS, and other security agencies in putting an end to the damage of electrical equipment.
It would be recalled that the PHCN vowed to arrest and prosecute anyone caught sabotaging power supply in the country by carrying out illegal sand mining under the Egbin-Ikeja 330KV high tension wire.
The General Manger, Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, Mr. Oyeleke Adeoye, said the management had put in place security measures to curb the ongoing menace of illegal sand evacuation under the high tension.
Adeoye, who served the warning during a town hall meeting with the entire representatives of the community under Magboro along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, said the essence of the meeting was to fashion out ways to tackle the perennial problems associated with uncontrolled evacuation of sand under PHCN transmission line.
He said, “The reason why we called for this meeting is to enlighten you on the inherent danger associated with this uncontrolled evacuation activities. The financial implications of the remedies could be better channeled to the development of the grid.”