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PH Electricity Company hires 355 energy theft ‘detectives’ to boost revenue

* Every unit of energy sold out must be accounted and paid for, CEO says * Fears energy theft may cripple the energy industry

As revenue loss through energy theft and vandalism hits N3Bn per month, the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) has hired and released 300 anti-energy theft agents in its area of coverage to track energy thieves and bring back every kobo sent out as bills. Management fears energy theft may cripple the sector sooner than later.

The company said it is sacking its original workers who have failed to embrace the integrity and anti-corruption philosophy now adopted by the organization as a new way to go, to be replaced by the new 355 hires on performance basis.

PHED management said it did the injection of new hires into its workforce in line with the recently reviewed organizational structure aimed at strategically aligning staff members for improved service delivery to its valued customers.

The newly recruited employees were said to be drawn from Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, and Rivers states where the company is licensed to distribute power supply in accordance with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s extant laws.

While unleashing the anti-energy theft agents on Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Port Harcourt, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Henry Ajagbawa, said that the new inductees would be customarily trained on the business model of the company stressing the need to account for every energy sold to the customers.

Ajagbawa, who stressed the need for intelligent hard work, charged the new hires to imbibe the culture of integrity and performance as there was no short cut to success. “You need to have the spirit of ‘I can do it’ mentality including what you aspire to be in the future”, he said.

“In PHED, we have the culture of integrity and zero tolerance for corruption and that is why we are regarded as a tribe with common goals, culture and same kind of behaviour.

“You are therefore, welcome to PHED tribe. This is a new and young PHED where we intend to build from the scratch. We have started purging out corruption in order to inject freshness into the system”, he said.

He cited an example of subjecting himself to scrutiny if he eventually deviates from the set standards.

Ajagbawa, however, frowned at the rising wave of energy theft and meter by-pass in the system, a situation he said if not checked may cripple the existence of electricity industry. He described them as worrisome and unacceptable and therefore, charged the new hires to ensure that every customer would be captured and monitored in order to reduce them drastically in the network.

A representative of the new hires, Raymond Osueni, while responding on behalf of his colleagues, thanked the management and promised to bring his skill-set to bear in making PHED the Number one electricity distribution company in Nigeria.

According to public affairs manager, John Onyi, the process of hiring the 355 workers across PHED franchise area was rigorous and transparent where the positions were advertised and interviews were conducted at various stages before the final selection.

He said the hiring of the new employees has in very clear terms, laid credence to Ajagbawa’s statement during a press briefing recently that PHED had no intention of disengaging 120 of its valued workforce as was widely circulated by mischief makers in the media space.

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