The National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has called on the Cross River Government to stop approving plans for buildings to be constructed under high tension cables to avoid cases of electrocution.
The Vice-Chairman of NERC, Mr Sanusi Garba, made the call on Wednesday in a message at the inauguration of Calabar Forum office of NERC, located at MCC Road, Calabar.
Garba was represented at the occasion by Mr Dafe Akpaneye, the Commissioner in charge of Legal Licensing and Compliance in the commission.
The vice-chairman lamented the loss of lives of 11 football fans in a viewing centre on April 21, 2017 in Calabar.
He said that in view of that, the commission had to set up the Forum office in Calabar, where customers’ complaints would be addressed appropriately.
According to him, such complaints can be the fall of electric poles and cables; breakdown of transformers; transformer theft and power outage in some areas, among others.
“I want to say that the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) is working tirelessly to ensure that this will be the last of such painful event happening in Cross River.
“We do not want to lose our people in such a manner again, because every life is valuable to us.
“We have been receiving a lot of complaints from customers and the commission thought it wise to set up this Forum office, where customers’ complaints can be addressed adequately.
“We urge the state government to ensure that we do not have people building under the high tension cables and those living under such cables should be advised to relocate.
“If we adhere to adequate designs, these lines will drop and fall on the floor, far away from people’s houses and it will go a long way in minimising the rate of casualty, ‘’ Garba said.
Mr Matthew Edevbie, Managing Director of 4Power Consortium, said that the Calabar Forum office was established to address the service delivery needs and concerns of electricity consumers in the state.
Edevbie gave an assurance that the forum would strive to resolve all complaints accordingly.
Responding, Gov. Ben Ayade said that Ministry of Lands and Housing was already addressing the issue of restraining residents from building houses under high tension cables.
Ayade, who was represented by Mr Iyadim Iyadim, Special Adviser on Public Utilities, gave assurance that the state government would continue to collaborate with PHEDC in ensuring adequate power supply in the state.