Discos consider ICT solution as electricity theft soars

ELECTRICITY distribution companies in the country have announced plans to adopt a new innovative technology, Hawk Eye, designed by Lagos-based technology company, Web Asset Limited, to checkmate the recurring incidences of electricity theft in the country.


Managing Director of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), Ernest Mupwaya, and the Head, Information Technology, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Dave Adeniji, while speaking at the launch of the technology in Abuja lamented that the power theft currently has negative impact on the electricity business.


He lamented that distance and communication gaps had hindered efforts to checkmate the criminal activities in the sector.

Mupwaya however expressed confidence that the app, as a security enabler, would bridge the gaps.
He noted that the company would integrate its in-house capacity of responding to vandalism of its facilities with the new application, which he described as necessary for survival and sustenance of the business.


Also speaking, the representative of Eko distribution company, Adeniji, lamented the level of energy theft in the country.

He said that consumers were billed based on what was read on the grid.

He said, “Billing is not based on what consumers are consuming. If you see anybody stealing power, know that he is the one causing the problem; energy theft is the problem.

“Bypassing of meter is still a problem in the country. If people are reporting the theft and vandalism, then the problem will be low,” he said.

Also speaking, the Deputy General Manager, Engineering Standard and Safety, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, Mr Abdul Bello Mohammed, called for all hands to be on deck for the new security initiative to succeed.

He said, “The Discos need to take it as their own. We don’t need to force anyone of them to use it.”
Earlier, the Web Asset Limited boss, Aladesuyi, noted that the Hawk Eye system is the first national crime-reporting system in the country and is one of the ways in which the public can lend its support towards supporting government’s efforts in safeguarding lives and properties.

He noted that beyond reporting utility theft for the energy sector, the app had been developed to work with different security agencies and institutions in the country to curb the rising incidences of from kidnapping, vandalism and terrorism.


He said: “We are always looking for better and more contemporary ways of safeguarding lives and private properties, including public utilities. The app will address the infrastructural gap in the area of emergency response system through internet-enabled mobile phones. The app also provides an alternative, fast and easy way of tackling security issues with exposure to lesser risks.


“Hawk Eye enables officers in the field to receive dispatched incidents and option to file reports in real-time even while in remote locations. Through its unique offering of global announcement feature, the app allows communication with different communities on national emergencies, most wanted persons, among other emergencies.


“In addition, Hawk Eye provides a FindMe feature for users to notify rapid response units or family members in the event of kidnapping incidents.

“Imagine what it could be like, sending a message to fellow citizens, asking them to avoid a place because there is live wire there, imagine what that can do; imagine sending a message to security agencies about imminent terror attack, imagine what that can do for the country.

“This initiative is our first step. In areas where there is no network, there is definitely nothing we can do about it; we have to be frank about it. But we will expand to such communities as soon as infrastructure is deployed; we are going to do that

“Of course, we are covering vandalism report on oil installations. The beauty of the application is that you can use it codedly so it can be used to fight corruption,” he said.