The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company has asked owners of buildings and shops under its high tension wires to vacate immediately for their own safety.
The Kogi State Regional Manager of the AEDC, Amina Ibrahim, who gave the order on Wednesday in Lokoja during a safety sensitisation/stakeholders meeting, also asked those trading under high tension cables to vacate.
She said that the quit order became necessary because of the approaching windstorm and heavy downpour, which could make the cables to snap.
Ibrahim also warned residents against loitering around transformers and electric poles during this rainy season.
According to her, the AEDC will not accept responsibility for any occurrence due to the negligence of electricity consumers, especially issues of safety of life and property.
On the issue of crazy bills, the manager urged consumers with genuine complaints to come forward for resolution before the commencement of installation of pre- paid meters.
She said that over 151,000 electricity consumers will soon be given pre-paid meters, saying that the installation of the meters would be in phases.
Also speaking, the Deputy Director of Risk and Compliance of AEDC, Henry Digu, said that the company was not after profit now, adding that it has been re-investing all the money it was making from the state into the state.
He explained that electricity supply to the state had increased to between 18 and 24 hours, urging consumers to reciprocate by paying their bills regularly.
He advised consumers to only patronise licensed electrical constructors for installations, saying that some fire incidences recently recorded were due to substandard electrical materials.
Digu said that fake AEDC staff had been going around to extort money from unsuspecting consumers.
He said that the company did not charge money for repair of transformers, electric poles and other services to consumers.
The Officer pleaded with the people to join hands with the AEDC to protect electrical equipment from vandals, disclosing that the company was in the process of securing the services of the Kogi State Vigilante Service, to help secure power equipment in the state.
Earlier, the AEDC team had paid a courtesy call on the Maigari of Lokoja, Alhaji Muhammed Maikarfi, who commended the organisation for the noticeable improvement in power supply to the town.
The traditional ruler also praised the company for its prompt response to customers’ complaints, promising to ensure that the message on safety is passed on.
Consumers and stakeholders at the sensitisation meeting urged the company to sustain its current level of performance to encourage consumers to pay their bills.
They also asked the AEDC to open more cash collecting centres in Lokoja, to bring payment points closer to the people.