The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) says it will henceforth publish the list of individuals and companies caught stealing electricity.
The Head, Communications of EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, who made this known in a statement in Enugu on Saturday, stated that the decision is aimed at addressing the increasing rate of electricity theft.
Ezeh said the management of EEDC decided to expose any individual or group for the public to read and see.
He said the publication would be after service of the statutory fine, loss of revenue and handing over the thieves to law enforcement agents for prosecution.
“To tackle this menace, we have set up a special taskforce to monitor and carry out routine check on our customers to fish out those engaging in this criminal act.
“It is quite disappointing that customers who are neck-dip in this activity are the high energy users.
“This is a big challenge to us as a business and we can’t afford to treat this with kid gloves any longer, else it will drown the entire business.
“A situation where some individuals feel it is their right to use electricity without paying for it has to stop.
“This singular act contributes largely to the issues faced by the electricity service industry in the country,’’ he said.
He said that customers were, therefore, encouraged to report any one engaging in this act to the nearest EEDC office or “call our Whistle Blowing line (084 700 110) to report such persons’’.
“This act, where the perpetrators fraudulently use electricity supply without paying for it is highly prevalent in the South-East and has seen EEDC consistently loose average of 43 per cent of its revenue monthly.
“This activity is negatively impacting its business and is quite discouraging,’’ he said.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) recently reviewed fine for meter bypass from N50,000 to N450,000.
It is expected that this new review and upgrade of the monetary value for the fines will also serve as a deterrent to others and possibly reduce the rate of this act nationwide.