By Patrick Aigbokhan
The Ikeja Electric Plc has lamented the spate of outage of electricity in over 6,000 households and businesses located in and around Igando, following an alarming rate of vandalism of electrical installations belonging to the power firm in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.
According to the firm, the criminal activities, have largely targeted transformers where single core and up-riser cables worth millions of naira were carted away.
Condemning activities of the vandals, Felix Ofulue, Head, Corporate Communications, Ikeja Electric Plc, lamented that the increase in the vandalism of the company’s assets had become quite alarming and is depriving legitimate customers of their right to steady power supply.
“In the past two week, over 24 transformers were vandalized in Igando, leaving our customers in total darkness and this is quite worrisome considering the discomfort and economic loss to this community. It is quite troubling and intolerable because innocent customers are suffering,” Ofulue said, adding that the cost of replacing the stolen assets was huge and would take some time to restore.
Speaking on measures to prevent recurrence, the Corporate Communications Head called on community leaders, youth associations and security agencies to make improved efforts to ensure that electrical assets within their communities were protected.
He also disclosed that the company is partnering with security agencies to track the vandals, while also encouraging vigilant members of the community to report suspected vandals to the appropriate authorities or to Ikeja Electric for prompt action.
“These vandals sometimes operate from within the community. They keep the stolen assets somewhere. They sell to someone. It is possible that one or two people may see something, so we are calling on these vigilant and patriotic members of the community to speak up, so we can nip this in the bud. Don’t forget that as a business, it is counter-productive to keep replacing assets in a particular location, spending our limited resources, when we could be expanding the network and improving supply in another,” Ofulue added.
He further warned that collaborators in the crime when caught would face the full extent of the law.
He said further, “Section 1(9) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act provided a stiff punishment, up to life imprisonment, for offenders who unlawfully disconnect, remove, damage, tamper or meddle with or in any way whatsoever interferes with any plant, works, cables, wire or assembly of wires designed or used for transforming or converting electricity shall be guilty of an offence.”