By Grace Udofia
The Port-Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, has threatened to arrest and prosecute anyone involved in stealing energy from its network.
Stealing of energy from the network, which covers Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa and Rivers states, involves meter tampering, by-passing through diversion of load and hooking directly to power lines by electricity consumers without paying for such usage.
While addressing customers at a town hall meeting in Rumuolumeni, near Port Harcourt, the Acting Chief Executive of PHED, Engr. Kingsley Achife, frowned at the constant loss of about 30 percent of revenue to energy theft on monthly basis, a situation he described as unacceptable.
Achife announced that PHED had collaborated with security agencies and a crack team of anti-energy theft squad established to work on daily basis with the Revenue Protection Department, RPD, of the company in order to arrest and prosecute those engaged in the illicit act.
Meanwhile, a statement signed by the Manager Corporate Communication of the company, John Onyi, said that the spate of energy theft in PHED had become a major source of huge revenue leakage to the distribution company.