Electricity theft worsens in South West, Kogi, Kwara as IBEDC records 1,459 cases in two months


  • Company prosecutes two Osun residents, partners task force to curb menace

The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc has lamented worsening rates of electricity theft in its network area which includes Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Kwara, and parts of Niger, Ekiti and Kogi States.

According to the company, it is intensifying its campaign against energy theft within its cover, adding that it is collaborating with the Federal Government Special Investigation and Prosecution Task Force on Electricity Offences (SIPTEO) to curb the menace.

It disclosed that it is actively pursuing investigations and legal actions against individuals and businesses involved in energy theft.

According to a statement signed by Johnson Tinuoye, the Chief Key Accounts Officer of the company, IBEDC has identified and recorded over 1,459 cases of energy theft between January and February 2024.

Tinuoye said, “These cases include various offenses such as meter bypass and illegal meter tampering, resulting in significant financial losses amounting to hundreds of millions of naira for the company.

“The escalating figures have prompted a strategic partnership with the Special Investigation and Prosecution Task Force on Electricity Offences, a federal government agency dedicated to expediting the investigation and prosecution of offenders within IBEDC’s franchise.”

He emphasized that under the Electricity Act, energy theft is now recognized as a criminal offence which carries severe penalties including imprisonment.

Tinuoye warned electricity users to desist from bypassing their meter or embarking on illegal connection.

He said in Osun region, two individuals were apprehended for stealing energy through meter bypass and illegal connections, adding that their cases have been formally charged in court for prosecution.

Sounding a note of warning, he said, “We want to send a clear message to our customers that energy theft will not be tolerated. Our collaboration with the Federal Government Special Investigation and Prosecution Task Force on Electricity Offences underscores our commitment to ensuring a fair and just electricity distribution system.”

“Energy theft not only undermines the integrity of our operations but also deprives IBEDC of the revenue necessary to provide quality services to our customers,” he added.

IBEDC urged customers to refrain from engaging in any form of energy theft, emphasizing that the consequences could be severe, as there is no room for negotiation with the SIPTEO Task Force team which is actively patrolling and investigating instances of energy theft for prosecution.

“For more information or to report instances of energy theft, customers are encouraged to contact the customer care line at 07001239999 or visit the company’s website www.ibedc.com,” Tinuoye disclosed.