Ikeja Electric Plc (IE), Nigeria’s largest electricity Distribution Company, invested more than 200 million naira on safety equipment in the last one year.
In a statement issued by IE’s Head, Corporate Communications, Felix Ofulue, the DisCo also cautioned members of the public to desist from erecting structures under power lines or carrying out activities and trading near electrical installation, which in effect exposes them to risk of electrocution.
The DisCo noted that proximity to installations such as transformer, electric poles or power lines contravenes the extant law, therefore people in such locations should vacate those areas urgently in order to protect their lives and property.
According to Engr. Jamiu Badmos, the head of Quality, Health, Safety & Environment (QHSE) for Ikeja Electric (IE), the warning became necessary because it has been observed that such acts are perpetrated with impunity irrespective of the dangers associated with such violations.
He also noted that Ikeja Electric in line with its Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) policy consistently sensitizes customers on the dangers of trading and building near, around or under power lines.
He also disclosed that the company has spent over N200m in the last one year on the purchase of different types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as organizing interactive occupational health and safety training for employees, whilst also reiterating the company’s commitment to entrench a value driven safety culture that goes over and beyond safety requirements to build a world class safety conscious environment.
Speaking on the defiance of the law guiding proximity to power installations, Badmos said that Section 3.1 of the Nigerian Electricity Supply and Installation Standards (NESIS) Regulation 2015 stipulates a mandatory distance of 5.5 meters, 15 meters and 25 meters setback from 33/11kV, 132kV and 330kV lines respectively. However, some members of the public have continued to violate the law, making them vulnerable to the risk of unfortunate incidents, which sometimes result in fatalities.
“As a responsible and safety conscious organization, safety enlightenment is top priority and we constantly sensitize members of the public on the dangers of improper handling of electrical issues through our Public Safety Sensitization Programme (PSSP). This presents the opportunity to articulate the required safety measures such as appropriate rating of materials, proper installation and maintenance of earthing on buildings, curbing illegal technicians and vandalization of network infrastructure, dangers of building and trading under powerlines,” he explained.
He also disclosed that the DisCo recently embarked on a SafeAware initiative at all Customer Service touchpoints and other strategic locations across the Business network in an effort to embed attitudinal change to safety practices amongst staff and customers.
To ensure compliance with the safety standard, Badmos called on “the Federal and State Government as a matter of urgency, to harmonize efforts to find a lasting solution to this issue by wielding the big stick on defaulters while DisCos continue to sensitize customers on the inherent dangers associated with continued violation of safety practices.”
Ikeja Electric remains committed to raising the bar on safety standards in the Power Sector with the safety and well-being of Customers, and will continue to uphold this as top priority”.