Jungle Energy Power (JEP), the leading electricity providing firm in Nimba County, has complained of systematic power theft to its installations, thus hampering the smooth operations of the company, leading to huge losses in revenue generation.
JEP management has meanwhile called on residents to protect its installations by reporting anyone suspected of stealing electricity.
On Tuesday, December 18, JEP overseer Musa Keita informed the Daily Observer in Ganta, the county’s commercial hub, that the continued power theft by some unscrupulous residents, “is killing the company slowly. And if nothing is done to arrest the situation, the company may likely close down, because the situation has obstructed the JEP from making a profit to meet the growing demands of our legitimate customers.
“Let the citizens be aware that the power we are providing was supplied by another company, and we are committed to paying for it in return. So if they continue to steal our electricity, then we will be working at a loss,” Mr. Keita said.
He, therefore, wants customers to know that JEP management is not realizing any substantial profit to maintain the business, despite huge challenges in meeting the customers’ demand.
“We need our courts to be able to punish those who are caught stealing power,” Keita said.
City Solicitor, Wilson Sokpah, said those who are caught are made to pay for the power that was stolen. He denied allegations that they collect money for their own use.
“Every cent collected from perpetrators as damages for theft is given to the company’s management,” he said. Sokpah displayed a receipt from JEP confirming that it received US$100 from one Black Davis for power theft through the court.
Despite the huge challenges, the management has assured the public of constant supply of electricity during the festive season.
“All mechanisms have been put in place in all the major towns along the highway to alert the management, in case of any problem,” Mr. Keita added.
It may be recalled that JEP has connected over 4,000 homes since it took over the Nimba Grid in 2016, and is expecting to reach 9,000 before the first quarter in 2019.
“We are targeting about 9,000 homes by 2019, and at the same time, ensuring that all the big towns along the highway are connected by next year,” Mr. Keita said.
Even though JEP explained about making some success in the distribution of electric power to over 4,000 customers in Nimba, there remains a huge gap for communities yet to be connected.