The example shown by the EDSA to apprehended one of the ministry’s staff shows that they are ready to mitigate on the issues of illegal extraction of electricity.
Speaking to AYV Deputy Minister of Energy Dr. Eldred Tunde Taylor, he said they received a tip-off from residents residing at the Goderich about the spate of blackouts. He added that during their investigation they were able to find out that one of their staff was responsible for the illegal extraction and connections.
The issue of illegal abstraction of electricity over the years has become an exercise that is killing the financial growth of the sector and they need to act fast in order to put an end to this menace.
Dr. Taylor disclosed that the ministry through the minister has developed third party grade laws geared towards going after people with illegal abstraction of electricity, citing that the minister a few weeks-ago was engaged in an exercise that rounded up a few electricity thieves.
He added that they will continue with the exercise until the people involved in illegal extraction of electricity refrain from their habit, citing that people showed be aware that electricity is a social commodity that should be available for everybody.
He added that they are guided by the Act to prosecute people who criminally extract electricity, and that penalty will be leveled on people found wanting which will be equal to the crime committed.
Counterpart Director General of EDSA Joe Lahai Sormana said they started the exercise more than a month ago to clamp down on people that are in the business of illegal extraction of electricity, and further disclosed that they have prosecuted more than 20 people in 5 major cases.
According to Mr. Sormana it is the mandate of EDSA to do electrical connection according to the Electricity Act of 2011 as supervised by the ministry.
In an earlier engagement with the Public Relations Officer EDSA, Sahr Nepor informed AYV
The Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA) has said during an interview with AYV that people who are caught using electricity service illegally will pay a fine of 50 million Leones or face 5years imprisonment, adding that EDSA staff who are found guilty of conniving with customers to carry out illegal extraction of electricity will immediately be dismissed and also face the consequences.
Illegal extractions of electricity have become a norm for many people according to EDSA. Some people believe that inaccessibility and delay of meter installations are some of the causes of the problem. The Public Relations Officer for EDSA Sahr Nepor said few months ago EDSA had meter scarcity. However, he added that meters are now available and that they have finished installing for 2017 applicants and that installing meters for 2018 applicants is ongoing.
Mr. Nepor added that whoever applied from 2017 to September 2018 and the meter has not been installed is advised to report at Falcon Bridge and complain to the Installation Engineer and that the problem will be solved. He cautioned that even though sometimes there is scarcity of meters or in some cases delay of installation, challenges like that do not warrant people to engage in illegal abstraction of electricity.
Sahr Nepor continued to say that the problem of illegality is one contributing factor to EDSA not being able to raise the adequate revenue needed to effectively run the operations of the institution and efficiently serve its legal consumers. EDSA, he added, believes that people engage in illegal extraction of electricity not because they don’t have meters but because they don’t want to pay subscription charges, Mr. Nepor said. The company is confident that if all citizens help in the fight to surmount illegal connections, there will be effective service delivery in the electricity sector, he maintained.