THE management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), on Thursday, identified high rate of energy theft by consumers as one of the factors hindering effective electricity metering in the zone.
The Chief State Head of Ondo and Ekiti States of BEDC, Kunbi Labiyi who disclosed this in Akure, Ondo state capital, alleged some customers including corporate institutions of engaging in energy theft and illegal activities.
According to her, this has made it difficult for the company to recoup fund spent in the purchase of energy from the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
She however threatened that the electricity company will not hesitate to deal with any suspected thieves or hand them over to security operatives or Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) for prosecution.
Labiyi who commended the synergy between the electricity company and the anti-graft agency saying it would go a long way to help the distribution companies in the country prosecute those involved in the energy theft said the BEDC was compiling the list of those engaged in the illegal activities for prosecution.
The BEDC said the company was planning to compile the number of structures under the high tension wires in its zone for demolition in order to prevent the incident in Calabar in Cross Rivers State that led to the death of about 30 people.
She explained that the company would start with the disconnection of those structures built under the high tension before the actual demolition. She said people usually blamed the company for any mishap instead of those who contravened building directive.
She also explained that the irregular power supply in the country said the inadequate generation of megawatts by Generating Companies led to load management by the DISCOS, noting that a total of 3,526 megawatts were being generated in the country while BEDC gets 317,35 megawatts for distribution among four states including Edo, Ondo, Ekiti and Delta.
She however urged customers to pay for the energy used, disclosing that the BEDC was planning to re- energized communities in Ondo North and South that had been disconnected from the national grid in the last three years.
Labiyi said the BEDC would partner with the Ondo State government on rural electrification, while priority will be give to companies with tendency to build the economy of the state and to help small and medium scale industries to grow.