Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor firms have pushed for the enactment of law to prosecute electricity installations’ vandalism in the country.
The Managing Director of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), Mr. Jon Abbas made the request when the Senate Committee on Privatisation was on who were on oversight visit to privatized enterprises in Rivers State recently.
This came in response to advice from the senate committee that new owners of the PHCN Successor Companies (SCs) should take advantage of existing laws in the various states of the federation to prosecute vandals of electric installations and those who obstruct electricity personnel from performing their legitimate duties.
Mr. Abbas called on the National Assembly to quickly enact a law to prosecute electricity installations’ vandals and allied offences.
Abbas had earlier on briefed the senators that the new owners had upgraded some sub-stations and re-modelled the company for efficiency.
According to a statement by the Head, Public Communications, Bureau of Public Entreprises, Chigbo Anichebe, the Committee members led by its Chairman, Senator Olugbenga Obadara to privatized enterprises urged the PHCN SCs, in the interim, to take the measure.
Obadara said the power companies could collaborate with the judiciary in the states to constitute mobile courts which can handle all such cases relating to electric power infractions.
“You could collaborate with the Judiciary in all the States to constitute mobile courts to try these offenders. On our part, both Chambers of the National Assembly will synergize to enact a law on electric power offences in the future”, he said.
But the committee also restated it resolve to assist the power companies to overcome their challenges to give Nigerians efficient and uninterrupted power supply,
“We will not hesitate to wield the big stick when we find you wanting”, the Chairman warned.
Abbas, however listed inadequate power generation, poor network condition, higher AT & C Loss, vandalism, lack of interest by funding institutions and rampant theft of electricity as some of challenges confronting the distribution company.
At Afam Power Station, the Managing Director, Mr. Leo Ofurum, said the plant managed by Nigerian engineers was at present generating 65 megawatts as against the installed 75megawatts. He added that the plant generates N100million monthly for the government.
In his remarks, the Senate Committee Chairman, Senator Olugbenga Obadara, commended the Nigerian engineers for their ingenuity and urged them to co-operate with the preferred bidder for the plant, Talevares Group, to turn it around.
Besides, Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, told the committee members, when they paid visited him that the state government had built 545 megawatts plant and another 180 megawatts plant in the state.