Electricity customers who are caught engaging in sharp practice and assaults on Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company PLC staff now face prison sentences ranging from three to five years, according to the 2O23 Electricity Act, which was recently signed into law by President Bola Tinubu.
While the new law mandates a three-year prison sentence for those found guilty of assaulting IBEDC employees, those found guilty of energy theft face a five-year sentence, according to IBEDC PLC management.
The warning was issued by IBEDC management on Wednesday while engaging stakeholders at a forum in Jebba service hub, Kwara state, where it stated that consumers owed the company a whopping N25.8 billion in unpaid bills.
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IBEDC’s Lead Media Relations, Olori Busolami Tunwase, and the company’s security officials issued the warning during an interactive session with consumers in Jebba, warning that the new electricity act will not tolerate cases of assault and battery on their employees.
Tunwase urged anyone or the community who has issues with IBEDC services or its employees to use legal means to resolve their complaints amicably rather than descending on them.
She stated that the era in which electricity consumers saw IBEDC as a provider of social services was over, emphasising that they must pay for the electricity consumed. Debt cancellation was requested by participants at the forum, which included representatives from traditional rulers.