The new Chief Executive Officer of Benin Electricity Distribution Company, a subsidiary of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, Dr. Effiong Umoren, has on Monday lamented the destruction of 182 sub-stations in the past six months by vandals in the country.
The vandalized district comprised Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states. The situation was affecting effective power distribution in the area as the company spends over N600,000 to fix any vandalized sub-station.
Dr. Umoren said the highest case of vandalized PHCN installations has been in Delta State with 118 reported cases in the last six months while Ekiti State had the least of four cases of vandalism within the same period.
A breakdown of the incidents of vandalism in the zone showed that in Edo State, 47 was recorded and 13 in Ondo State. He said the company was being owed N12.8 billion by consumers, adding that apathy of customers in the zone to paying electricity bill was also a major problem to its operation in the zone.
According to him, a new dimension had been added to the way some of the vandals operate, as some of them now operate in military uniform. He said other problems facing the company includes energy theft, meter bye-pass, illegal connection, stealing of aluminium conductors and line members and draining away of oil from distribution and power transformers.
He said the activities of vandals had led to loss of power and left great cost of replacement of the stolen parts.
However, he pointed out that in line with its avowed commitment to improve service delivery, the company had added six injection substations with a total capacity of 60MVA in the last one year.