The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) is proposing that electricity users in Port Harcourt and Yenagoa metropolis that by-pass meters and reconnect themselves illegally should first be arrested before they are disconnected.
The spokesperson of the PHED, Sophilia Obire, said offenders arrest would discourage people from deliberately engaging in the fraudulent behaviour of by-passing installed meters.
A statement by Obire read: “The fact is that there have been too much stories of attacks on Disco Officials whose only crime is carrying out their legitimate duties. Fine, there are challenges in the electricity industry that needs to be addressed, it is a Nigerian problem and the Power Sector is tackling it.
“But to become outlaws as a result of this challenges and instigate a dog attack on a Disco official is taking it too far.
“The bane of meter by-pass, re-connection, power theft and vandalism has troubled the power industry and in a sense, we all are guilty one way or the other.
“While the Discos have fought the later ills with security agencies, only immediate disconnections seems to be the solution for customers who by-pass meters.
“This has constantly make them prey to customers who think nothing of their actions”.
Obire further suggested that customers who by-pass meters, re-connect themselves illegally should first be arrested before being disconnected, insisting that the practice would create sanity in the system and call the attention of the offender to the implications of their actions”.