By Sebastine Obasi
AS the citizenry grapples with unstable electricity supply, as well as high tariff rate, Nigeria’s power sector recorded its worst monthly electrocution incidents so far in April 2017, when it reported 17 deaths across the country, the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) has stated.
NEMSA which stated this in its monthly safety report and ranking of the 11 electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) and Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) said that the accidents involved staff of operators and third parties.
It explained that these occurred as a result of failures of system protection equipment; poor response to monitored networks, use of substandard materials and non-adherence to safety rules and regulations. According to the Agency, total absence of protection devices; and inadequate knowledge and ignorance on the part of operators and consumers are some of the causes of the accidents.
It identified Abuja, Ibadan, Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Jos DISCOs as accounting for eight of the accidents, which resulted in 17 deaths within the period under review.
NEMSA also explained that between January and April, the sector recorded as much as 34 electrocutions, adding that Eko, Ikeja DISCOs and TCN recorded zero occurrences so far. It condemned the practice whereby DISCOs supply electricity to unsafe structures, buildings and premises so as to collect revenue, noting that all illegal structures under power lines or within the right of way should first be disconnected from public power supply, followed with demolition nationwide.