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Stop vandalising our installations, Jos DisCo begs Gombe customers

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Jos Electricity Distribution Company Plc has appealed to residents of Gombe State against vandalising its installations across the 11 local government areas in the state.

Speaking during Customer’s Consultative Forum held in Gombe on Thursday, Managing Director, Abdu Mohammed, explained that it takes the organisation millions of naira to maintain destroyed equipment, stressing that businesses would be in jeopardy.

Mohammed, who was represented by Saad Abubakar, Gombe Regional Manager called on customers to see the company’s installation as pivotal part of their communities, adding that JEDC has established Doma region to serve customers closely.

He said, “Customers should desist from vandalising our installations, they should stop tampering with our meters or from engaging in activities that have to do with energy theft. We have decentralised operations to serve our customers better Doma Region has been established to bring services closer to the people.

“JEDC expects that meters would be made available and customers who owe us are to pay a fraction of their debt then they will be metered free. The meter is free but we want you to reduce your debt because when meters are given to you those debts will be incorporated into it. It shows some degree of commitment.”

Speaking on the importance of the Forum’s meeting Mohammed added, ” This Forum is mandated to be organised regularly to have good understanding between our customers and our organisation. It’s part of the right of the customer to know about our activities in fact, is imperative to organise this to make customers understand what we are doing. We hope to serve you better as a business outfit.”

Also speaking, Chief Security Officer JEDC, Musa Abdullahi, who presented on ‘Negative implications of vandalism on networks and the need for partnership between the company and existing customers’, harped that security is everyone’s business.

According to him, the franchise has over 8,000 transformers, cutting across Gombe, Bauchi, Jos and Benue States.

He noted that securing them alone without needed collaboration has become a herculean task.

Abdullahi said, “That is the reason for partnering with neighbourhood watch, local vigilantes, youth groups, and community leaders. They are our installation and they are serving them (communities), every day we experience vandalism on about four transformers per day in trying to install or fix back the transformers we spend per transformer an average of N1m per day. If you are using N1m daily to repair what will be left as profit this is across the franchise states of Bauchi, Gombe, Jos, and Benue. We record four transformers vandalised across four states. If you multiply N4m by 30 you know what I mean it runs in millions of naira. This reduces economic activities, in the affected communities.”

He warned residents about fighting with officials of the company describing as a criminal offence.

“Not to mention when you obstruct staff from performing their duty, if you have grievances report, we know that the economy is harsh, we are also customers so don’t transfer your aggression to staff. Whoever comes to you for payment should be treated with courtesy and you can stagger it and pay within the collection circle before a month. If you have fraudulent activities by any of our staff maybe they collected money to fix the transformer report because it’s wrong. We don’t encourage that, just write formally to the MD through the regional manager,” he added.

On his part, Thomas Johnson, a customer from Gombe International Hotel described the Forum’s meeting as heartwarming.

He said, “This is an interesting forum. I was enlightened on how their operation on the distribution of electricity.”

Johnson called for continued meetings saying, “I was here last two years in this same meeting.  It could be quarterly, to bring motivation to customers.”

On the need to improve supply, Johnson said “I wish to call on JEDC to increase their hours of distribution to commercial areas. Most of the areas they supply power is very minimal, it will be good if  they can increase it, We will be willing to pay especially we the commercial business owners.”

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