The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has lost equipment worth millions of naira to theft and vandalism, less than two months to the January 2014 deadline for the power generation and distribution companies to start operation.
The Nation learnt that materials, such as cables and wires, among others, had either been stolen or vandalised within the Lagos metropolis, with the recent one taking place in Ilupeju area of Lagos State.
The Business Manager, Ikeja Unit of PHCN, Lateef Olaleye, said equipment such as 300KVA and 500KVA were vandalised in Ikeja.
He said: “Vandalism of PHCN installations, especially in the Government Reserved Area (GRA) Ikeja, has become a problem. Within the past four months, the unit has recorded further acts of vandalism of nine transformer substations – Oba Akinjobi 300KVA substation was vandalised thrice in March, April and May this year, while Remi Fani-Kayode 500KVA substation was vandalised on April 8, this year. After the vandalised materials were replaced, the vandals came again two days later on April 10 and stole all the replaced cables and other substation materials. And on the second of this month, they stole virtually all the materials in this same substation, including 20 metres of 150mm2x4 single core cable.”
Olaleye said another theft was recorded on March 7 at the Ladoke Akintola 500KVA substation, where the thieves carted away eight metres of 150mm2x4 core cable, cable sockets and ferrules.
It would be recalled that the NERC is working out modalities on how to penalise people who vandalise and steal appliances belonging to the PHCN. The Commission’s Secretary, Ada Ozomenan said the body is coming out with strong penalties for people who steal or vandalise cables, meters, among other appliances.
She said the Commission has stepped up monitoring activities in order to check cases of theft and vandalism in various power projects in the country.
Information from The Nation was used in this report.