The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has so far invested N2.5billion on provision of electricity safety equipment since taking over the company in October 2013.
The Managing Director, AEDC, Mr Ernest Mupwaya made this known in Abuja during the presentation of a hosting flag to the company for the 2018 National Power Safety Summit.
The National Power Safety Summit is designed to bring stakeholders in the sector to discuss and strategise on workable measures to end issues of electrical accidents and fatalities in the country.
The maiden edition of the summit was hosted by Port-Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) in 2017 with 105 participants in attendance.
The 2018 edition, which will be hosted by AEDC is scheduled to hold on October 25 and 26 with the theme, “Zero Incidence in the Nigerian Power Sector”.
Mupwaya said the need to be safety conscious by operators and customers of electricity cannot be over emphasized.
He said safety of electricity usage remained a high priority for the company, saying that it takes a generous budgetary provision in AEDC’s budgetary provisions on recurrent and capital expenditure.
“Since, we took over the ownership and management of the company in 2013; we have carefully and deliberately raised the level of awareness of safety.
“We have changed the mindset of the workers of the company in the area of health, safety and environment, we have made the observance of rules mandatory”, he said.
He said the company had invested in the procurement of personal safety gears, safety equipment and total reconstruction of some shanty networks such as in Kabusa and Gisiri in the FCT.
He also said AEDC had also invested in massive education of the customers in its franchise areas on safety use of electricity.
Mupwaya said this was done by embarking on series of electricity safety sensitisation programmes in schools, villages, with a view to share knowledge on safety to reduce electricity accident.
He also revealed that the company had recorded a total of 105 fatalities from electrical accidents since inception.
According to him, nine of the victims were AEDC staff, while 96 other victims comprised members of the public.
He said AEDC was liable to some of the accidents, while some were largely due to issues of vandalism, tempering of installations by unqualified electricians among others.
He, however, said that AEDC was committed to recording zero electrical accident fatality in its franchise areas of operations.
On hosting of the 2018, national power summit, Mupwaya said it was an extension of the company’s corporate social responsibility and a demonstration of its commitment to safe use of electricity by its customers.
He said AEDC’s acceptance to host the summit was also a demonstration of the important it attached to safety.
“While, we have done so much to improve the level of awareness, we also desire to share knowledge from the industry experts and safety practitioners so as to do more, both for our staff and our customers”.
He thanked the organisers of the summit, for their foresight and doggedness to convoke the summit, saying that AEDC would do everything necessary to raise the standard of the summit beyond the last edition.
Earlier, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC)of the summit, Mr Gabriel Egede, said the summit became necessary given the rate of fatality occasioned by electrical accidents in the country.
“The reason for the summit is not far-fetched, if you look at the rate of electrical incidents in the power sector, you will see that the rate of fatality is on the increase annually.
“In 2014, the total electrical accident fatality was 70 per cent, in 2015, it went to 110 per cent, in 2016, it went to about 115 and in 2017, it was higher than 2016.
“It is affecting the staff, it is affecting the customers, even though they are clamoring for the energy, there is also the need to get it safe”.