By Soni Daniel
The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, has threatened to arrest and prosecute anyone involved in stealing energy from its network.
Stealing of energy from the network, which covers Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa and Rivers states, involves meter tampering, by-passing through diversion of load and hooking directly to power lines by electricity consumers without paying for such usage.
But while addressing customers at a town hall meeting in Rumuolumeni, near Port Harcourt, the Acting Chief Executive of the Port Harcourt Electricity, PHED, Engr. Kingsley Achife, frowned at the constant loss of about 30 percent of revenue to energy theft on monthly basis, a situation he described as unacceptable.
Achife announced that PHED had collaborated with security agencies and a crack team of anti-energy theft squad established to work on daily basis with the Revenue Protection Department, RPD, of the company in order to arrest and prosecute those engaged in the illicit act.
Achife said, “We can assure you that anybody caught in meter tampering, by-pass through diversion of load or hooking directly to power lines shall not go scot free, he or she must face the full weight of law.
“We cannot continue to condone energy thieves in our network; it must be stopped.This is an era of energy accountability and for us to sustain the power industry, energy theft must be eradicated.
“We urge you to join in the war against energy theft and it must be won”, Achife concluded.
A statement signed by the Manager Corporate Communication of the company, John Onyi, said that the spate of energy theft in PHED has become a major source of huge revenue leakage to the distribution company.