From: Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Police Headquarters, in Abuja, on Tuesday, said it recorded a total of 233 cases of electricity installation vandalism in three states and the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), from January to date.
The three states were Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger states.
This was even as the police said that the theft of electricity installations had resulted to the loss of a whopping N500 million to the nation’s economy.
Inspector General of Police( IGP), Ibrahim Idris, who made this known at the flag-off of Anti-Electricity Vandalism Response Squad (AEVRS), said the increasing rate of vandalism of electricity installations across the country has not only become alarming but very frightening.
IGP Idris said wanton destruction of electricity infrastructure resulting to monumental economic loss to the Nigerian economy was being recorded on a daily basis.
He said “As a result of this deliberate economic sabotage, businesses have been disrupted, means of livelihood destroyed and quantum loss of much needed government revenue just to mention a few.
Represented by the commissioner in charge of crime prevention at the Force Headquarters, Austin Iwar, at the occasion, Idris, while noting that the menace if not ungently checked would lead to a worse economic situation in the country, said it was for this reason that the AEVRS was established to counter vandalism and theft of electricity infrastructures across the country.
He said the outfit would be responsible for the protection of all electricity infrastructure across the country and also serve as a rapid response squad and conduct overt and covert operational activities among others.
The police boss said the AEVRS was collaborating with the Abuja Electricity Development Company(AEDC) to ensure a smooth operation of the outfit, adding that police officers deployed to the unit would undergo specialized training to update their skills for the task ahead of them.
Earlier in his address, the Managing Director and chief executive of the AEDC, Ernest Mupwaya, while noting that his organisation had spent over N200 million to replace vandalised items, maintained that “from records, the focus of the vandals is often the Coper element in the cables, the oil in the transformer, insulator of different sizes etc”.