The Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) of the Volta River Authority (VRA) has clamped down on some hospitality operators and landlords for engaging in illegal power connections in the Northern and Savannah Regions.
The exercise, undertaken by a team of NEDCo staff, found a good number of power consumers in the two regions to be illegally using electricity. Notable among the defaulters were Baobab Guest House and Galaxy Hotel in the Sagnerigu Municipality of the Northern Region, and Mole Motel in the Damongo district of the Savannah Region. Seven landlords from the Tamale metropolis were also caught.
They have since been arraigned before the Tamale Magistrate Court for refusing to pay for the power consumed.
The crackdown forms of efforts to fight illegal electricity connection within Tamale and its surrounding areas, and falls under the company’s ‘naming and shaming’ campaign. The defaulters, NEDCo said, have illegally consumed power worth about GH¢50,000.
The Court, presided over by Justice Amadu Issifu, after hearing the case adjourned it to August 4, 2020 for the accused to reappear for cross-examination. The court also issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Galaxy Hotel and Mole Guest House managers for failing to show up in court.
Public Relations Officer of NEDCo, Alhassan Abaaba, told B&FT that the company resorted to legal action in order to deter others from engaging in power theft. “This is the only alternative for us to ensure clients pay for the right amount of power consumed. It will help us generate enough revenue to provide quality services to the public,” he said.
He expressed concern over the high incidence of illegal connections in Tamale, which he said is affecting operations of the company. He added that some communities are particularly noted for engaging in power theft, and that a joint team of police and military will soon be deployed to help the company retrieve funds due it.
“We are exploring every available means with the technical teams to apprehend all the culprits of power theft in our operational areas,” he stated. Mr. Abaaba therefore urged the public to assist NEDCo provide quality services by exposing companies/businesses and households engaged in illegal electricity connection.