Nigerians now enjoy 16 hours of electricity supply
The Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo has appealed to those involved in vandalism to desist from such acts or face appropriate sanctions.
Mr Nebo who spoke at the ministerial platform in Abuja said the activities of vandals has served as a setback towards the provision of steady power supply to the affected areas.
While stressing that power supply in the country has improved to 16 hours per day, the minister said that the federal government will focus on the expansion of renewable energy and also fast track its plan of rural electrification.
He highlighted the growing havoc vandals are doing to prevent a realisation of the power reforms agenda of the administration. He said the incidence of vandalism of electricity equipment has gotten to that level that except drastic action is taken to contain the menace, the much-touted reform of the power sector may be no more than a dream unrealised.
The Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company in recent times has claimed to have lost many distribution transformer substations under its network to these vandals. The increasing rate at which its equipment were being vandalised had reached unacceptable proportions.
Unfortunately, this is a common trend across the country as managers of the DISCOs make strenuous efforts to cope with equipment vandalism which indeed has become the major obstacle facing the company in the South-East geo-political zone.
While speaking with the House of Representatives Committee on Power, the Chief Executive Officer of the PHCN, Enugu Distribution Station, Suleman Yahaya said 33 out of 37 transformers belonging to the PHCN were stolen by vandals in Abia State, particularly in Arochukwu, Ohafia and Abiriba areas during the committee's sightseeing as their oversight functions.
Mr Yahaya went further to inform the committee that sometimes, in a day; PHCN loses up to 20 transformers to these criminal elements.
The immediate consequence of these acts of vandalism is that life is made more difficult for law abiding citizens who are thrown into darkness due to erratic power supply occasioned by the activities of the vandals.
The nation's economy is seriously threatened as industries are being shut down and employees laid off because companies cannot meet production target as many operate below their installed capacity.