The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDCO) has claimed to have lost an average of N21 billion on energy theft in six years.
The said amount, according to PHEDCO represents N3.5b yearly from its operational four states of Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Cross River which constitute the company coverage areas.
Manager, Corporate Communications of PHED, Mr. John Onyi who disclosed this to newsmen in Uyo on Wednesday, said this theft of energy occurred despite the efforts the company was making to improve the services in line with a business contract.
Onyi also disclosed that in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital, PHEDCO has lost 104 electricity transformers of various sizes within a few years.
He also stated other challenges faced by the company in discharging its functions to customers, pointing out that over N161.7 billion is so far owed the company by some customers across the four states since the commencement of its operations in 2013.
“PHED started six years ago to collaborate with the public. PHED is losing 3.5 billion annually on energy theft. They are tampering with our meters despite the efforts we are making.
“In Uyo the Akwa Ibom state capital, we lost as at two days ago, 104 transformers to this act of vandalism, it is not encouraging. Losing 104 transformers to vandals, when we should be talking about extension in the network, is a major challenge.
“We also want you to know that as at close of business on 30th of June 2019, some customers are owing PHEDC in the four states about 161,788 billion, this money will do a lot, aside that other challenges we are facing in the system, and when it occurs we don’t know anybody, we will always fall back to the service provider who is of course PHED,” Mr. Onyi lamented.
Onyi, therefore, appealed to the media to sensitize the public on the sad development and employ them not to look the other side when any suspicious movement is noticed within PHED installations by raising alarm since raising alarm will solve the situation.