From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

Henceforth, anybody caught vandalising electricity assets and critical infrastructure will die by hanging.

This is contained in the new Power Policy document which the Federal Government is pushing through the National Assembly.

Addressing the chief executives of agencies and departments in the power sector, Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, said that the vandals not only frustrate the efforts of the Federal Government in ensuring improved supply of electricity, they are sabotaging the economy, killing the people and dragging the rest of Nigerians backward.

“Capital punishment is not too much because they are also gradually killing the nation. They are killing the economy. They are killing the people” he submitted

According to him, the policy framework  will be ready before the end of  March.

He said that the bane of the industry is theft and vandalism and the government is collaborating with National Security Agency (NSA) and other security agencies to protect the transformers.

The government, he said, is also discussing with the state governments and host communities with a view to protecting  the transformers and towers sited in their areas.

As for the chief executives, he warned them to sit up and work because he cannot afford to lose his job because of the inaction of any of them.

“Before any of you would cost me my  job, I  would make sure that the person loses his job.

Related News

“A chain is as strong as its weakest link. We can cut off the weakest link. You know that our jobs are not permanent” he reminded them.

Adebayo told the chief executives that the government has made available a seed fund of N75 billion to fast-track the provision of meters. The fund, according to him, will increase to N100 billion as time goes on.

In addition to the government’s  seed fund, distribution companies (DisCos) must provide meters to their consumers. To this effect, he directed the chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Sanusi  Garba to withdraw the licences of any non-performing DisCos because the actions and inactions of the DisCos are negatively affecting the economy.

“Inability to pick up power qualifies for the revocation of licence. There will be an agreed time of between 48 hours and 72 hours to fix damaged infrastructure. It’s unacceptable for  any DisCo not to fix damaged assets within the timeframe.

The minister also  ordered NERC chairman to have a creative  performance that can get the DisCos working saying that NERC should not be seen as just barking without taking action.

He observed that  distribution is the weakest point of the electricity sector and it’s closest to the public.

“We need to compel  them to performance. If they don’t perform, all our efforts in the generation will come to naught” he said.

Adelabu gave indications that the policy framework will address the recapitalisation  and restructuring of the DisCos and make them management.

On the fire that engulfed Birnin Kebbi and Kano substations, the minister instructed the chairman of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN),  Alhaji Sule Ahmed Abdulazeez to immediately interrogate the immediate and remote causes of the incidents.