The management of Kaduna Electric has lamented the increasing cases of energy theft in its franchise area and destruction of the smart meters currently being installed by the company and resolved to prosecute anybody caught perpetrating the illegal act.
The Head, Energy Metering and New Connection of the Company, Engr. Aliyu Abbas Abdullahi, made this known during a press briefing in Kaduna Thursday. He revealed that investigations carried out by the company showed that “some unscrupulous elements are compromising the integrity of the meters by damaging the board and circuitry of the meters.”
He disclosed that the energy theft are done both externally by bye-passing the new meters and internally by compromising or damaging the relays, vowing to leave no stone unturned in fighting those behind it.
According to him, the company will fish out anybody perpetrating or aiding the perpetration of the unwholesome act of energy theft either through meter bye-pass or through illegal connections and reconnections.
He further debunked and described as “ridiculous” the claim that the smart meters being deployed by the company have viruses, and urged their customers to disregard the peddlers of such “false and unfounded information.”
Engr. Abdullahi disclosed that the company has installed over 11,000 smart pre-paid energy meters in Kaduna, Kebbi and Sokoto States since the inception of the mass meters deployment programme two months ago, assuring that plans are on ‘top gear’ to commence the exercise in Zamfara State, the last in the franchise area of the company.
Earlier, Kaduna Electricity customers have decried over-billings of electricity consumption after the installation of new prepaid meters, describing it as exploitative and ridiculous.
Some of consumers allegedly brought complaints against increase in electricity bills immediately after the distribution of new meters across the state, but little or nothing was done in form of redress or remedies. Some consumers complained that they pay betweenN15,000 and N300,000 as monthly bills as against N2,000/N4,000 being paid before the introduction of the new prepaid meters.
Of particular and worrisome is the complaint made by one Dr. Adeleye Ayodele of 44, Jamaa Road Kaduna, who brought reports of N30,000 monthly bills to the Kaduna Electric Distribution Company as monthly bills for his residence.
He said his monthly bills before the new prepaid meter was N4,000, but jumped to N300,000, among others, but nothing was done to reduce the billing.
“I’ve not added anything to my electronics since the metering of the house, since December, but I now pay N300,000 monthly (N1,000 daily consumption). This is ridiculous and exploitative,” he said.