Adelabu Charges Security Agencies to End Saboteurs of Power Infrastructure, Suggests Capital Punishment for Vandals

In the face of declining electricity supply nationwide, the federal government said contrary to public perception, it was not “sleeping” on the power problem, assured the public yesterday that it is actively addressing the power issue.

The government stated that it is implementing measures to secure consistent supply in the future and significantly boost power distribution in the immediate term.

Speaking at a meeting with top agency heads at his ministry, Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu made it clear to Distribution Companies (Discos) that refusing load wasn’t acceptable and could lead to their licenses withdrawn.

Adelabu has given a clear warning to Discos, saying they must be prepared to supply between 90 to 95 percent of power to their areas. If they don’t comply, they will have to deal with regulatory penalties.

During the meeting called by the minister, some of the agencies in attendance were the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), and Rural Electrification Agency (REA).

Adelabu mentioned that the government might ask the Discos to increase their capital, which will be included in a policy document coming out before March ends. He stressed that the Discos must bring in more money to boost the sector’s infrastructure.

The minister mentioned that he plans to focus on improving the technical skills of the industry. He noted that the sector is still being managed by former employees of the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA).

Adelabu urged his team to step up and deliver the necessary power to the people. He made it clear that if their lackluster efforts jeopardized his position, they would all leave together. He highlighted vandalism and power theft as major issues in the sector, expressing frustration over the damage to power infrastructure.

The minister said, “This is not only frustrating our efforts to achieve uninterrupted power supply. It’s driving the nation backward. It’s driving us backward. And our people must realise this, that these assets belong to all of us. We must protect it jealously. It’s the taxpayers’ money.

“They are not cheap in any form. I keep saying it. They cost dollars to install. When they are damaged, to replace them, it also costs dollars. So, number one, is our collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser. Then our collaboration with other security agencies in the country.

“And lastly, the legislation. What are the laws regarding power theft and vandalism? We want to push for capital punishment for those involved in vandalism and those involved in power theft of all forms, including bypassing of meters.

“Capital punishment is not too much because they are also gradually killing the nation. They are killing the economy. They are killing the people.

“This is a meeting that’s actually necessary to also reassure Nigerians that we are not sleeping here.

“We are doing everything possible to make sure that the situation reverses in no time, because I see this as a crisis, and the crisis must be arrested.”

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