By Etuka Sunday
The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) has thrown its weight behind Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC)’s ongoing cleanup of the inherited substandard shanty networks in its franchise area, saying that the exercise was not only commendable but also necessary to prevent electrical accidents that could lead to loss of lives and properties.
AEDC had two weeks ago commenced a phased cleanup of poorly wired communities in line with its commitment to creating an accident-free electricity services atmosphere in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger states.
The Head, Public Relations & Media, AEDC, Ahmed I. Shekarau in a statement said, the pilot of the network cleanup, which commenced in Gishiri Village of Abuja, started with the removal and replacement of substandard electrical poles with standard concrete ones.
Leading a team of inspectors to a meeting at the AEDC head office on Tuesday, the Managing Director/CEO of NEMSA, Engr. Peter Ewesor disclosed that his agency was not only satisfied with the company’s network sanitization in Gishiri, but that it was also committed to collaborating with the AEDC in the cleanup of other poorly wired communities such as Tudun Wada and Dape.
According to Engr. Ewesor, “Abuja (DisCo) is trying in the area of efforts to put its network in proper shape. We also appreciate AEDC for the support and cooperation that it has been giving our men (inspectors) out in the field. We commend you for that. However, you need to do more to sanitize other bad networks in your coverage area, and NEMSA will be there to give you all the support required.
“Whichever community you’re moving to next, please convene a meeting with people from that area and NEMSA will lead the way to explain to the communities why it is necessary for us to do these cleanups because lives must be protected”, he further explained.
The nation’s Chief Electrical Inspector also commended AEDC for the training it has been giving to its staff, but added however, that “we want to encourage you (AEDC) to organize more trainings for your staff because by building their professional capacities you are also saving your company huge sums of money that could be lost if any accident occurs”.
Engr. Ewesor also advised the AEDC to do more in terms of advocacy, saying that “we’re also aware that your company is doing a lot to sensitize members of the public on safety issues but we want to encourage you to do even more in this area”.
He disclosed that the meeting with the AEDC management was a prelude to an inspection that members of the NEMSA team will be carrying out on the company’s feeders to further confirm the integrity of the power distribution facilities.
In his remarks, the AEDC Managing Director/CEO, Engr. Ernest Mupwaya congratulated Engr. Ewesor on his recent reappointment as CEO of NEMSA, and assured him that AEDC takes health, safety and environmental issues seriously in conducting its business even as he reiterated his company’s commitment to collaborating with the electricity services management agency.
“We are confident that by working hand-in-hand with NEMSA, we will not only be improving that quality of services we deliver to our customers, we will also be protecting our facilities and saving enormous resources that could be lost if there are unfortunate incidents”, the AEDC boss stated.
Engr. Mupwaya also assured the NEMSA management of AEDC’s readiness to work with the agency in order to accelerate its public sensitization programmes on health and safety issues.