Business Headline News Nigeria

Reps call for reinstatement of SON at seaports, entry Points

Experts in the power sector in Nigeria under the aegis of Licensed Electrical Contractors Association of Nigeria (LECAN) have applauded the House of Representatives’ resolution to investigate incidences of deaths and accidents caused by the negligence of electrical safety in the distribution network around the country, as well as safety measures including the existence and role of Safety Departments of all the Distribution Companies (DISCOs).

Speaking in Abuja, LECAN President, Dr. John Etim, called for a paradigm shift in the industry with a view to improve on service delivery and ensure efficiency.

The lawmakers during the debate on the motion on the ‘Need to ensure safety in the electricity distribution network,’ sponsored by Sani Bala, have expressed reservation over the capacity of Nigeria Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) to adequately carry out its mandate of policing electricity safety in the distribution network, as well as, the overall effectiveness of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, given the vast investment in the power sector.

According to Mr Bala, a report issued by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) in the last quarter of 2018 indicated that, there were 136,393 complaints from customers about the negligence of the DISCOs which had jumped to 151,938 in the first quarter of 2019.

The lawmaker further lamented that the negligence of electricity safety is increasingly claiming lives and causing injuries to both electricity sector workers and others with reports by NERC alleging that approximately 2 persons died of electrocution every fortnight during the fourth quarter of 2019, as compared to the third quarter where roughly 3 persons died of electrocution fortnightly.

Worried by the level of irregularities condoned in the industry, Dr. Etim who decried the complacency by the regulatory agencies towards ensuring compliance with extant regulatory framework in the industry, argued that the distribution network has become a dumping ground for unsafe electrical installation because of NEMSA negligence to ensure safety of electricity.

Dr. Etim blamed the Federal Government for the exclusion of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) which is constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of certification of the equipment from the seaport.

According to him, substandard products passes through the nation’s seaports, which makes it vital for SON to have a presence there.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; editing by Muzha Kucha