Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) says it has apprehended one Durojaiye John Tope for extortion of money from unsuspecting energy consumers and posing as a staff of the company.
Mr Godwin Idemudia, the General Manager, Corporate Communications of EKEDC, made the disclosure on Saturday in Lagos.
Idemudia said that the company apprehended Tope with the help of the National Security and Civil Defense Corp on Wednesday, March 27.
Idemudia said the suspect got on the company’s radar after several complaints made by customers who were victims of his extortion and illegal meter tampering.
He said that there was the need to curb the recurring issues of energy theft within the company’s operation network as it had numerous consequences on the company and its consumers.
Idemudia said such consequences include increased Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection Losses (ATC&C).
The spokesman explained that the suspect went about his operations by impersonating an EKEDC staff within the Ijora District under the company’s operational territory.
Idemudia also said that the suspect had on regular basis collected between N50,000 and N120,000 from electricity consumers on the premise that he would reset their meters to read at a lower rate.
According to the spokesman, Tope’s final known illicit act before being apprehended was the tampering of a customer’s meter for N20,000.
“The suspect wanted to lower the rate, but the meter stopped reading completely and led to a halt to electricity supply at the consumer’s shop.
“He then demanded the sum of N120,000 to rectify the issue which the consumer refused and reported the case to the company’s district office in Ijora.
“Investigations were conducted, and the suspect was apprehended with the help of the NSCDC agents and aggrieved consumers,” Idemudia explained.
He also said that the suspect was handed over to Area C Command of the Nigeria Police Force, Ojuelegba, Surulere pending further investigations and prosecution accordingly.
Idemudia reiterated that meter tampering was a criminal offence and sternly warned those involved in the illicit activities to refrain, as anyone caught would face the full wrath of the law.
He added that from April 1, 2019, EKEDC staff would no longer accept cash payments and mandated customers to report any staff that demands for money.
Idemudia, however, said cash payments could still be made through accredited collection partners as well as alternative payment solutions such as online payment, banks and POS.
Eko DISCO to attain international best practices for Line workers
Eko Electricity Distribution Company in a statement released on Tuesday revealed that five of its line workers are scheduled to attend a training program in India to attain global best practices in maintaining services. This move comes on the heels of the company’s efforts to ensure that line workers are well versed in current international standards of clearing faults.
The statement signed by EKEDC’s foremost spokesperson, Idemudia Godwin revealed that the two week-long training is scheduled to hold in April 2019 in partnership with the company’s technical partners and advisers, Tata Group, a leading technological leader in the global electricity sector.
Idemudia stated that the training is an excellent development in the organization as it is necessary for line workers to have firsthand knowledge of international best practices that would make the work more effective and impart knowledge on the workforce. He explained that this initiative is also the company’s way of rewarding top performing line workers as this is an opportunity to not only gain foreign exposure but also increase their productivity and value both as individuals and staff of the company.
Idemudia also stated that the beneficiaries of the training program were selected based on performance appraisal. He further revealed that the training will begin a process which will lead to structured exchange programs between international companies and Eko Disco, where staff of both parties will have the opportunity to have multiple on the job experiences and share ideas.
He commended customers for their continuous support and urged them to fulfil their obligations by paying their bills on time as it will help the company improve its services, citing the training as one of the numerous initiatives targeted at enhancing the company’s services and retaining its status as the leading electricity distribution company in Nigeria.