The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has warned against electricity theft, describing it as a serious albatross of the energy sector.

This was conveyed at the Civic Forum on Energy Security organized by the Conference of Civil Societies and Centre for Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMICO) in Abuja on June 4, 2024.

The forum, declared open by the Honourable Minister of State for Police Affairs, Honourable Imaan Sulaiman – Ibrahim fsi, represented by Mr. Alkali Sulaiman fsi, emphasized a ‘Whole of Society’ approach to energy security management in alignment with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

The forum highlighted the need for collective effort in safeguarding Nigeria’s energy infrastructure, with key stakeholders from various sectors in attendance.

A significant highlight was the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) warning against electricity theft. NERC officials presented insightful papers, with Deputy General Manager Abdul Tareb discussing “Electricity Tariff Review: The Issues and the Myths,” addressing the recent circumstances necessitating tariff reviews.

Assistant General Manager Michael Faloseyi’s presentation on “Monitoring Performance and Mitigating Energy Theft at the Grass Roots: the Role of Civil Societies” underscored the causes, consequences, and penalties of electricity theft, urging greater collaboration with civil societies to curb this menace.

In his welcome address, Mr. Adams Otakwu, Chairperson of the Conference of Civil Societies and Coordinator of CIMICO, emphasized that energy security is a core component of national security, and expressed the readiness of the civil society to be collaborative rather than being combative with government in safeguarding the nation’s energy infrastructure.

Reinforcing this sentiment, Honourable Ishaya Lula, Member -House of Representatives, Rear Admiral I Abbass, representing the Chief of the Defence Staff General Christopher Musa, Air Commodore Elisha Bindul, representing the Chief of Air Staff, ACG Dr. E. Benito representing the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other speakers reiterated the need for collective vigilance in safeguarding and protecting Nigeria’s energy infrastructure.

The forum concluded with a Six-point Communique which highlighted the need for regular civic forums to continuously address challenges in the energy sector, a call for active engagement between civil societies and energy stakeholders to enhance service delivery and regulatory compliance, as well as urgent implementation of the Power Consumers Assistance Fund.

A Citizen’s Committee on Energy Security was announced to drive advocacy and foster community ownership of energy security, a critical strategy against the vandalization of energy infrastructure.

This collaborative and proactive approach underscores the collective commitment to a secure, sustainable, and resilient energy sector in Nigeria.

The forum had participation of the Office of the National Security Adviser, Embassy of Belgium, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Correctional Service, Federal Fire Service, National Orientation Agency, Yola Electricity Distribution Company, Jos Electricity Distribution Company, and about fifteen Civil Societies and Consumers Advocacy Groups as well as the media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *