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Rising cases of electrocution in Nigeria raises competency crisis amongst Discos—NEMSA

Between January and March this year, 22 Nigerians have been pronounced dead due to faulty distribution lines managed by electricity Distribution Companies (Discos). Whereas six of the dead were maintenance staff of Discos (names with held), the 16 are citizens killed either by weak distribution lines other forms of defective eclectic cables along the roads and streets.

These were contained in the latest report released by the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) on safety ranking of the Discos and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

Just as the agency has warned Discos and TCN to employ real electrical engineers to rectify their defective networks, power consumers who bared their minds on the development on Monday traced the embarrassing development to deployment of casual workers instead of trained electrical engineers’ to man their systems.

According to the report, out of 11 Discos in the country, eight recorded fatalities that involved either an employee or a third party during the period under review.

“Network issues in Benin, Eko, Enugu and Ibadan Discos resulted in the untimely death of five, one, one, and four persons, respectively in the first three months of this year.

“Distribution system issues at Yola, Jos, Kaduna and Kano Discos led to one, four, three and three fatalities, respectively during the same period.

“The Abuja, Ikeja and Port Harcourt Discos, as well as the TCN, however, recorded no fatality in the first quarter.

NEMSA averred that “The defective networks of the Discos led to many accidents, which were caused by system protection equipment failures, total absence of protection devices in some cases, as well as vandalism”

Continuing, the federal agency further traced the crisis to poor termination and maintenance of ageing networks, right of way issues, non-adherence to safety rules and regulations, poor response to monitored networks, use of substandard materials, and inadequate knowledge on the part of operators or consumers.