The Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), Engr. Idris Aminu Idris, the SM in charge of Engineering Performance and Monitoring at the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), disclosed that vandalism has been a major contributor, causing 13% of power-related accidents between Q1 and Q3 of 2023.
Addressing the audience during the November 8 meeting with Health and Safety Managers, Idris emphasized the need for collaboration between Distribution Companies (DisCos) and security agencies to curb the rising incidents of vandalism.
He stated, “Vandalism was responsible for up to 13% of accidents from Q1 to Q3 of 2023. DisCos need to work with the relevant security agencies to mitigate incidents.”
Furthermore, the NERC official highlighted the stringent reporting requirements outlined in the Safety Code, stating that failure to report accidents could result in severe penalties.
“All accidents, including those causing loss of life, electric shock to animals, and damage to equipment, must be reported to NERC as stipulated in section 5.3 of the Safety Code. Failure to report is a great offense, and the reporting obligation carries a high penalty,” he said.
Underlining the gravity of the situation, Idris referenced the 2023 Electricity Act, which delineates various electricity-related offenses and their corresponding penalties. From fines to imprisonment, the penalties aim to address and deter unlawful actions within the electricity sector.
The comprehensive list of penalties includes fines, imprisonment, and court orders for permanent forfeiture of undertakings for offenses such as impersonation, unauthorized connection, intentional cutting off of electric supply lines, and theft of electricity.
The penalties aim to reinforce compliance and discourage individuals or entities from engaging in illegal or disruptive activities within the electricity sector, safeguarding the integrity and lawful operation of the electrical infrastructure.