19th July 2024

NEMSA Calls On Utility Companies To Apply Technology To Fight Vandalisation Of Electrical Installations

The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency on Thursday, May 23, urged utility companies in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) to curb the vandalisation of their equipment with technology.

The NESI’s managing director, Aliyu Tahir, disclosed this in Abuja.

He was commenting on the incessant vandalization of electrical installations, especially transmission towers across the country.

He said: “The utility companies that own these facilities need to wake up, need to be more vigilant to ensure that these vandals are seen even before they do their vandalization and prevent them from it.

“So, technology has to come in, and the network has to be seen in real life. These technologies are already on the ground.

“I am happy that some of the utility companies have woken up and they are already working on this technology to put in place to ensure this network is monitored 24 hours, seven days a week. This will go a long way to reduce the vandalism that is going on in the country.”

Tahir, who is also the Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation, said the agency is working with the relevant agencies to ensure all the structures on the Right of Way are completely removed or demolished.

According to him, the Electricity Act 2023 has brought in new players – the state governments, who are mainly responsible for the removal of the structures on the Right of Way.

He noted that NEMSA has identified the structures within the Right of Way of Powerline, stressing the agency is now enforcing a directive that all the structures should be disconnected from power supply and they have been listed to the state agencies that own them for removal.

The NEMSA boss, however, revealed that some states have already enforced the removal of structures from Right of Way.

He added: “One or two states have acted on that. I can remember Kano State has done so. Kwara State did, and Lagos State has done.”

The Managing Director, however, regretted that some structures are still within the Right of Way of Powerline.

He expressed hope that with the synergy the Electricity Act 2023 has provided between the States and Federal Government, structures on the Right of Way will soon become history.

He said to prevent quacks from installing substandard electrical materials in the country, the agency is collaborating with the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) to stop the proliferation of fake materials.

He further noted that SON is also working with the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to ensure that electrical materials entering the country are of the right standard.

Tahir added that during inspection the agency always removes the substandard materials.

 On quackery, he urged Nigerians to always ask whoever they engage for electrical installations to be certified by NEMSA.

He stressed: “If you engage somebody that is not certified, you will not be able to trace him. You are not sure whether he is competent or he knows the job. Once you engage a certified person you are sure he knows the job. You can also go to our website to verify the certificate.”

Tahir revealed that the agency has extended its certification scheme to renewable energy.

He advised Nigerians to ensure that “when you are engaging such person, he is certified. And at the end of the certification, also ensure that the installation has been inspected, tested, and certified before you can now use such installation.”

Stressing that people must ensure the engagement of certified electricians for renewable energy installation, the NEMSA warned that “Any electrical installation that you do that is carried out by quacks, is the same thing like wiring a time bomb within your premises and the worst thing is that you don’t even know when that bomb will explode.”

Tahir said NEMSA has carried out remodelling of inherited assets from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and the Federal Ministry of Power.

The assets, according to him, are the National Meter Test Stations in Oshodi, Port Harcourt, and Kaduna, the Engineering and Chemical laboratory in Ijora, Lagos, and the Inspectorate Field Offices at Eko, Lagos, Sokoto, Ilori, Ibadan, Maiduguri, and Kaduna.

He said NEMSA has also established and commissioned the Meter Generation Museum/Gallery at Oshodi, and Lagos.

He said the ones in Port Harcourt and Kaduna are yet to be commissioned.

He also revealed that NEMSA has achieved 21,681 electrical installation projects that have been inspected and tested, out of which 13,154 have been certified.

Tahir said the agency has monitored 16,624 electricity networks, and inspected, tested, and certified fit 4,921 factories, hazardous installations, and public places.

According to him, NEMSA has tested and calibrated 2,655,488 electricity meters and investigated 487 incidences.

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