LAGOS - NEPA Reads Riot Act to Power Customers : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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NEPA Reads Riot Act to Power Consumers

Story Filed: Sunday, July 30, 2000 12:45 PM EST

Lagos (Post Express, July 30, 2000) - The National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), has announced that it would henceforth, impose a two-month cut in electricity supply to any community or institution in the country that molest its staff in the course of carrying out their duties.

Such host community or institution which violently disturbed NEPA would, in addition, be made to fully pay for damaged items, installations, property and equipment.

The new policy, according to the NEPA's Senior Manager, Public Relations for the Ibadan zone, Mr. Jide Oyenuga, is in compliance with the recent directive of the NEPA Technical Board headed by Senator Liyel Imoke following series of reported cases of molestation and harassment of officials of the authority by irate members of the public.

"The chairman of the Technical Board has directed that any host community or institution who violently disturbs NEPA in the course of a protest will not only be made to fully pay for damaged items, property, equipment, etc but will have their supply of electricity cut off for two months," he said.

In the strongly worded statement issued in Ibadan over the weekend, the NEPA spokesman raised alarm that the attention of the authority had been drawn to "the unwholesome development of intimidation, harassment, beatings, abductions, theft and vandalisation of offices and equipment by angry mob 'protesting' power failures in some parts of Ibadan zone."

Oyenuga stated that various reports of such incidents had, "in the past few months," reached NEPA's zonal headquarters from the field staff who were severally brutalised by host communities and students of higher institution protesting power outages.

The NEPA spokesman lamented that in such cases, the Authority had lost men and materials while offices had been ransacked, money stolen, vehicles vandalised and some victims driven away by the angry mob in apparent display of disrespect and thuggery.

He specifically alluded to the case of a lady cashier at NEPA's office in Epe who had her leg broken while trying to escape mob action as well as a distribution manager at Abeokuta who also broke a leg when students descended on the authority's office in that town.

In the same vein, he said that another District manager at Osogbo is currently wearing a "POP" on his right leg following injuries sustained after jumping down from a storey building to escape acid being poured on him by angry protesters.

Oyenuga expressed concern that same heads of higher institutions had adopted what he called the unholy method of inciting the students to descend on NEPA offices when disconnection notices were served on their institutions.

He explained that while NEPA acknowledges that its shortfall in power generation had necessitated load shedding to enable the available power to go round, "this does not in any way call for unreasonable violent protests."

He then appealed to the general public to always exercise restraint in their reaction to NEPA's shortcomings saying that the Authority welcomes constructive criticism.

"It has become necessary to cry out to the general public and our valued customers to continue to exercise patience while the re-engineering and rehabilitation of plants take place to improve supply to all parts of the federation," he said.

Oyenuga explained that NEPA had already opened public complaint centres in the district offices to receive technical and non-technical complaints adding that public relations executives, district managers and the general managers in charge of distribution and monitoring could always be contacted by the public to register their complaints.

-- (, July 31, 2000

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