From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
The Managing Director of Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO), Dr. Jamil Isyaku Gwamna, has called on Magistrates and High Court Judges to demonstrate patriotism by ensuring that those culpable of vandalizing, stealing power installations as, as well as defrauding KEDCO management and customers face the full wrath of the law.
Gwamna urged the Judges to save innocent lives and the country’s economy through the newly created Special Investigation and Prosecution Task force on Electricity Offenses (SIPTEO).
He made the call during the opening ceremony of the ongoing two-day workshop organised for Judges to brainstorm and address issues of electricity theft and related offenses, particularly in KEDCO franchise areas of Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states.
Represented by KEDCO’s Chief Technical Officer, Engr. David Onoloye, Gwamna noted that, “several lives that are being lost to acts of vandalism could be saved by SIPTEO and judges when offenders get stiffer punishments commensurate with their crimes to serve as deterrent to others.”
According to him, “the millions of Naira that is lost to various electricity frauds such as power theft, vandalism, meter bypass, and the likes could be used to revive the country’s economy. A profitable power sector will restore the economic fortunes of Nigeria.”
Gwamna, who regretted the fact that perpetrators of various electricity offenses had either been left to go scot-free or handed weak sentences which is not in sync with their offenses, further stated that, “we have lost a lot of investments in the power sector, especially to vandalism, theft and other sabotaging activities of some persons who do not really care of the overall effect on the country as a whole.
“This is really painful how a few persons can through their nefarious acts hold the country to ransom in the power sector and this is something to address as we look to strengthen the capacity of the sector to live up to expectations in our quest to trigger massive development.
“This kind of meeting is key and must be leveraged to give the real deal and protect our investment for the sake of our economy. Since power is key to national growth, we have to support that effort to protect our investment in the power sector.”
The Kano DisCo boss also called on customers to partner with KEDCO in ensuring the protection of its installations and equipment as well as to ensure regular payments of bills.