By Ogbolu George with agency report
Babatunde Raji Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, has urged the federal government to extend its whistle-blowing policy to the power sector to put a stop to energy theft.
The minister made the call in Enugu at the 16th power sector monthly meeting, sponsored by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).
Fashola said available statistics reveal huge energy theft by Nigerians, adding that the problem has become a big challenge for not just the power distribution companies, but consumers as well.
The minister said statistical data show that only six million households consume energy in the country, adding ”if this is correct, it means that some people steal energy in the country, while only a few pay.”
”The statistics cannot be correct and it is, therefore, necessary to extend whistle-blowing to the power sector in order to expose those stealing our energy,” he said.
According to him, when all households who use energy are not captured, the ones captured are bound to pay more tariffs.
He called on Nigerians to be vigilant and report those who steal energy in their neighbourhood to law enforcement agencies.
The minister said the government is not pleased with most power distribution companies, whom he said, were far from attaining the mandate given to them since the privatisation of the sector.
Fashola directed the distribution companies to call their staff to order, saying ”they are giving their customers hard times through indiscriminate disconnections.”
He said efforts to improve power supply across the country are on course, adding that more megawatts of electricity would be added to the national grid before the end of the year.