The Abuja Electricity Distribution Companies (AEDC) and judges of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Monday moved to curtail electricity theft in Abuja, Niger and Nassarawa States.
Speaking in Abuja during a two-day workshop organized by the AEDC on electricity theft and related matters for judges in the FCT, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Ernest Mupwaya, said that the company and judges could share information that would curtail electricity theft.
According to him, liquidity is the major problem that the sector is grappling with, which is consequent upon electricity theft and energy that is unaccounted for.
He recalled that while privatizing the power entities, capability to reduce losses was an important consideration.
Mupwaya said that: “A major problem that we are facing in the sector is characterized by liquidity challenge. But if we analyze further the main reason that underpin the liquids challenge can be traced to the theft of electricity and unaccounted for energy in the sector.
“Because in order to have attained improvement in the sector there has to be efficient in the way the energy is being accounted for. There have to be deliberate processes that should curtail theft of electricity.
“Theft of electricity is real. It is for that reason that when the bidders for this these privatized entities put in their bids, the most important consideration for winning or procuring an asset was the aggressiveness of the program of addressing the losses.”
He said there is a relationship between the electricity consumed in a country and its level of development.
The Managing Director noted that if electricity theft is not addressed, it will continue to negate all the improvement efforts of the company.
Describing electricity is a national asset FCT Chief Justice, Justice Ishak Bello, promised that the judiciary will support the company to protect its facilities.
He said that it was a moment to stimulate the mind of the service provider that reawakens the judiciary towards the organization, it is also a moment to see to so many situations such as abrupt power outage, installation that lead to fire outbreak.
He asked the power firm to fashion ways of averting such occurrences, stressing that if AEDC is not rising to its responsibilities litigations may come for claim.
The Chief Justice informed the judges that that the workshop was to for them to understand the workings of the AEDC for them to be able to follow the sequence of argument when the subject matter comes to their court.
He added that “you will easily comprehend the argument and understand and at the end of the day you will be able to know the sides fairly and justly decide.”
He told the judges that the workshop was for them to see the type of services being delivered by the service provider and the penalties that are there.
Bello described electricity as the most vital of the critical infrastructure and key resource that support the society, noting that “it will not be out of place to describe it as a national asset and it must be protected.
Bello said that “As an arm of government, we in the judiciary are glad with major stakeholders like AEDC to collaborate in ensuring that this essential commodity is available to all and of course that power investments are well protected within the ambit of the law.”