By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
House of Representatives is putting together a legislation that will criminalise electricity theft in the country and provide for stiffer penalty against perpetrators of the act.
Chairman, House Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, Mr. Shodimu Mutiu, disclosed this in Kaduna when he led members of the Committee on oversight function on visit to Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO).
He maintained that the challenges facing the Kaduna Disco is not any different from the challenges being faced by other Discos, and that a nationwide legislation would be put in place to address them. “Most of the challenges are industry wide, hence all the stakeholders must work together to address the power sector challenges,” he stressed.
The House Committee chairman, in statement in Kaduna Tuesday, commended the management of Kaduna Electric for the ‘creative initiatives’ taken by the Company in the last three years for improving its services, and charged it to do more in the areas of customers’ enumeration and reduction of the aggregate technical, commercial and collection (ATC&C) loses.
“We are particularly glad by the network reinforcement and other infrastructural improvement made by the Company in the last three years, but more need to be done. Your total registered customers are very low; you need to do more in the area of customers’ enumeration; this will surely impact positively on your ATC&C status,” he observed.
Representative Mutiu also advocated for constant engagement and exchange of ideas between the Discos and the legislators, promising to accommodate inputs from the Discos for more effective legislation.
Earlier, Chief Operating Officer of Kaduna Electric, Mr. Major Bashkar, who stood in for the Managing Director/CEO, disclosed that the menace of energy theft and vandalism of the Company’s power supply assets are the major hindrance to ensuring stable power supply and the development of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry. He appealed to the law makers to join in the campaign for attitudinal change among the Nigerian electricity consuming public.
Mr. Bashkar also called on the House of Representatives to look at the need to support the nation’s power sector through effective legislation against energy theft, cost effective tariff and provision of rebate to the less-privileged electricity consuming public.