From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) has vowed to arrest and prosecute any person, group of persons or corporate body found to be engaged in meter bypass on its network.
Managing Director of PHED, Henry Ajagbawa, gave the warning in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, following what he described as the alarming trend of meter bypass, noting that the company records about 30 per cent of its anticipated revenue to meter bypass on monthly basis.
Ajagbawa disclosed that meter bypass is a criminal offence punishable under the law, describing the situation as unacceptable.
He said that customers involved in such illicit act have completely misinterpreted the company’s silence as an encouragement to plunge a disturbing situation into moribund.
The PHEDC boss stated: “From inception in 2013, the company has been battling with many odds militating against its sustainability ranging from energy theft, illegal reconnection, intimidation and harassment, non-payment of electricity bill, staff assault and to meter bypass with the latter out of control.
“Henceforth, we will no longer accept mere disconnection for meter bypass as anyone apprehended would be immediately reported to the police with sufficient evidence for prosecution including naming and shaming through various media channels.
“PHED will collaborate with security agencies and a crack team of anti-energy theft squad to work on a daily basis with the Revenue Protection Department of the company to achieve its goal of bringing all perpetrators to book.”