FG threatens DISCOs with sanction over substandard equipment

Federal Government, yesterday, said it would sanction any distribution company, DISCO, that engaged in installation of substandard electricity equipment in its operations.

Mr. Peter Ewesor, Chairman, Federal Government Investigative Panel on the death of Miss Oluchi Anekwe, a 300-level student of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, said this in Lagos.

Anekwe was, on September 8, kiled by a high voltage cable that snapped off a pole on campus.

Ewesor, who spoke with newsmen, is also the Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency, NEMSA.

He said: “Appropriate enforcement orders and possible sanctions will be meted out for non-compliance with the recommendations of all previous and future monitoring reports sent to them by NEMSA field electrical inspectors.”

Unethical practises

Ewesor accused the utility companies of using substandard materials, unprofessional practices, negligence and poor response to inherent problems in their networks.

He said NEMSA would ensure that all distribution companies uphold the international best practices in the installation of electricity equipment nationwide.

Ewesor said DISCOs had been indicted over the alarming rate of electrical accidents, which he said had become recurring incidents in the industry.

According to him, electrocutions occur in some areas as a result of the poor state of distribution companies’ network and negligence on the part of the companies.

Ewesor said: “The spate of electrical accidents and electrocutions leading to unwarranted loss of lives and properties as well as down time of the supply to consumers nationwide is unacceptable and condemnable.”

List problems

He also identified other inherent problems, which regularly lead to electrical accidents and electrocutions.

He said one of them was allowing networks to pass over and between buildings, structures and market places without clearances.

Others are lack of regular monitoring and evaluation of networks for routine and preventive maintenance purposes by the DISCOs and the use of substandard or adulterated materials.

Ewesor said that the Onike 11KV feeder line that passed through UNILAG was in a state of disrepair.

He said: “In view of increasing human traffic at the University of Lagos, NEMSA has directed that the overhead Onike 11KV feeder line be re-routed underground.”

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