No fewer than 15 persons have been prosecuted by the Jos Electricity Distribution Company for bypassing meters and vandalising electricity transformers in Benue, Plateau, Bauchi and Gombe states, its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed Gidado, has said.
The 15 electricity thieves were all convicted, he added.
Gidado also announced the disengagement of over 500 workers of the Disco due to declining productivity, fraudulent activities and other factors.
According to him, JED has commenced mass metering of customers in all its areas of coverage and has engaged over 4,000 new employees to inject vibrancy into the system.
He said these in Jos on Thursday, where he also warned that any customer found stealing electricity or bypassing the meters would be prosecuted in accordance with the law.
He expressed worry at the spate of fraudsters impersonating the Disco’s personnel, warning customers against patronising impostors or persons not licensed by the company.
Gidado said, “Meter bypassing, energy theft and vandalism of transformers and other electricity equipment are serious crimes. We are working with security agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of those who bypass meters, steal energy and those vandalising our equipment.
“And we are worried at the sad tales coming from Plateau, Benue, Bauchi and Gombe states. Already, 15 persons have been convicted for stealing energy and other related offences while several others are still under trial at the Federal High Court in Jos.”
He also said, “We have disengaged about 500 members of staff due to declining productivity. We cannot continue to keep workers whose performance rating is not more than 10 per cent. Some of those affected were also involved in some malpractices.
“Our meters are well calibrated and have been certified by the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, which has given us the mandate to continue with our mass metering. We have installed about 26,000 meters in homes in our coverage areas and we aim to install 40,000 meters in the next week.”topics from