The Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy has stated its concern over disgruntled members of the Nigerian public vandalising and stealing energy facilities across the country.
As a result of the destruction caused by the theft and vandalism, Nigeria’s ongoing power supply issues have increased. To combat this, the Senate proposed the Bill, to help drive growth in the power sector and help Distribution Companies (DisCos) mitigate losses.
The Chairman, Senate committee, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said: “The response to energy theft, vandalism and others is scattered all over different laws and different areas in our laws, and so we want to see whether we can consolidate them into one bill and that will help everybody in the sector.”
Senator Abaribe added: “It is a regulated industry which means that you cannot charge more than what the government says you should charge. And so, if government is selling to you at N100 and now tells you to charge at N50, you are already at a loss. That is what we want to let Nigerians know – that there are some things that are in this regulated industry which we need to resolve; and it is the resolution that has brought us here.”
The Senator assured the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) that senate would assist in ensuring that the outstanding debts of N20 million owed to the company by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were paid directly from the debtors.
Speaking on the issue of theft in the country, EKEDC’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Adeoye Fadeyibi called for legislation on stringent punishment and prosecution of offenders involved in energy theft, tampering or vandalism.
He added that the legislation should include those tampering with electricity facilities as well.