Ikeja Electric Wants Buyers of Stolen Electrical Items Prosecuted
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Chief Security Officer of Ikeja Electric Plc, Mr Michael Igbodipe, has proposed that the buyers of stolen electrical items should be prosecuted alongside vandals so as to deter others from the act.
He said this during a meeting with the new commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) for Lagos, Mr Usman Ishaq Alfadadarai.
According to him, “If there is no market for the purchase of the stolen electrical items, the vandals will never tamper with electrical equipment,” stating that vandalism, illegal connections, energy theft, and other illegal activities are sabotaging the company’s efforts to provide excellent service delivery within its coverage areas.
Mr Igbodipe said this was why Ikeja Electric was willing to engage the security agency for the protection of its facilities in its network area to curb vandalism, which is threatening its operations.
He informed the Lagos Commandant of NSCDC that in recent times, the company has recorded about 50 of its transformers vandalised in a month, leading to extended power outages in the affected areas.
Mr Igbodipe highlighted some steps that will be beneficial in the course of implementing the strategies, including identification of markets where the stolen electrical items are sold, sensitization of market leaders of those that are selling electrical materials on the need to avoid buying stolen electrical items, as anyone found with such will be arrested and prosecuted along with the vandals.
He urged consumers to avoid all forms of illegal connections that may lead to electrical hazards, fire outbreaks, damage to equipment, electrocution, and service disruptions.
In his remarks, the new commandant of NSCDC Lagos State, Mr Usman Ishaq Alfadadarai, thanked the IE team and endorsed the message of re-strategizing with the agency, saying that one of the core mandates of the federal government to the NSCDC is to ensure the safety of all critical assets and infrastructure across Lagos State, including public and private sectors.
He said the NSCDC team is ready to support the company to curb the menace of vandalism, acknowledging that vandalism is an aged-long problem that must be eradicated in any society. He promised to immediately inaugurate a dedicated team that will work with IE and swings into action to achieve the objective.
According to him, there is always synergy between the vandals and those retailers that are buying the stolen items.
The commandant then promised to commit all support within the agency’s limit to ensure the success of this collaboration and charged IE to provide adequate logistics for the effective implementation of the new strategies.