The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Plc has vowed to recover its lost revenue due to energy theft and related offences committed by some customers.

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It said offenders in the four states under its jurisdiction would be made to face justice.

The four states serviced by the power distribution company are Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of PHED, Henry Ajagbawa, while speaking at a forum in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday, said the firm had already put measures in place, including collaborating with the security agencies to identify and apprehend any offender.

Ajagbawa stated that energy theft was having a negative impact on the company, pointing out that PHED was losing over N2.5bn monthly as a result of illicit practices such as bypassing of the company’s meters.

He warned those involved in such illegal practices to desist from them, pointing out that the sustainability of the company was being threatened.

He said, “We are determined to eradicate energy theft from the system and that is why we are collaborating with the security agencies to ensure that no stone is left unturned to ensure offenders face the full wrath of the law.

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“Any customer caught bypassing or tampering with our meter will not only be named and shamed but shall face the full weight of the law and thereafter made to pay for loss of revenue arising from the unwholesome act.”

He noted that energy theft was not only the concern of distribution companies but that of every Nigerian, stating that curbing it remained a basic way through which services can be improved in the power sector.

Ajagbawa added, “One of the ways that we can survive and improve on our services is when customers pay their bills and stop meter bypass.

“We are coming after those who are involved in meter bypass and we will get back what belongs to us. Those sabotaging the system must be brought to book.”

Ajagbawa sought for legislation to criminalise energy theft and vandalism of electricity facilities.

“If you criminalise it and make the consequences severe definitely, we will have it better. Nigerians should learn to pay for energy consumed,” the PHED boss stated.