Electricity ministry raises concerns yet again over illegal use of electricity

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 May 2021:

People are getting tired and fed up of listening to constant whinging by Sierra Leone’s ministry of energy about the alarming rise in the number of people illegally connecting to the national grid without paying for the use of electricity.

When is the ministry of energy going to act, given that it has been promising to take strong measures for the past three years? Are the benefits of bribery and corruption just too alluring to resist?

Last year, the ministry promised to clamp down on the illegal and dangerous tapping into the electricity grid by unscrupulous businesses and people who by their behaviour, are starving the government of much needed revenue, despite rising costs of generating and transmitting electricity in Sierra Leone. (Photo: Energy minister – Kanja Sesay).

Freetown, the capital city continues to suffer frequent and intermittent power cuts, as the government fails to tackle mismanagement of the electricity sector.

Yesterday, the ministry of energy issued yet another useless public statement, saying that “it notes with grave concern and dismay the persistent illegal and unpatriotic activities in the sector, including but not limited to faulty meters, unmetered supply, unregistered meters, vandalization of EDSA facilities and non-charging customers by members of the public and some business organizations.

“The Ministry has observed that despite persistent appeals and public education, unscrupulous citizens and business organizations continue to steal electricity through illegal connections thereby occasioning some serious technical and commercial loss on EDSA.”

But last year the ministry promised to set up a surveillance team comprising of the police, the military and the office of national security to clamp down and punish culprits yet nothing was done. Here we are again, with another public notice making the same useless promise.

“The Ministry wants the general public to know that Government through the Ministry of Energy is setting up a Team comprising the Sierra Leone Police, the Military and Office of the National Security that will be charged with the responsibility of looking into matters of electricity theft and/ or the illegal abstraction of electricity.

“The general public is further informed that the Team will soon start its inspection patrols, and that in the course of their inspection, anyone found wanting of illegally abstracting electricity will face the full force of the law. The Ministry continues to urge all to refrain from such acts and to help report cases that border on electricity theft at the nearest Police Station or to the Ministry of Energy.”

When are paid public servants going to start taking their job seriously in Sierra Leone?

 

3 Comments

  1. Electricity theft is incredibly dangerous, for those that are tampering with the electricity meter cables, and the neighbours. Exposed wires can some times act like death trap for innocent children , or in the worst case scenario, can see whole neighbourhoods goes up in flames. And causing unnecessary damage and deaths, especially to children, reducing their homes to rubble,and effectively making them homeless. Tampering with the electricity supplies also denies the national grid the funds required for maintenance, and keeping guaranteed flow of supply to residents to our towns, and cities across the board. People , or commercial businesses, engaged in electricity theft, are trying, or they think they are trying to beat the system, with all the consequences that comes with that. More like trying to save few Leones here, and there, that is until you get caught. Why do they do it?

    Well before I go futher, I want to make it clear that I don’t condone the behaviour of this criminals, that cost the State much needed revenue. Because they don’t want to pay their fair share towards the development of the State. With weak institutions,which is one of the biggest problems in Sierra Leone, that is not robust enough to implement the laws, and a top down corruption, from government ministers that are supposed to lead by example, it creates the perfect storm for would be criminals to point to, and say, why should the ordinary man, and woman in Sierra Leone live by tbe rules governing our state, or adhere to the invisible social compact between the citizens and the state.

    Meanwhile, government ministers are given the freedom to steal from the state on an industrial scale, without suffering any consequences as stipulated by the Anti Corruption Laws in place.? In many case when they are caught they are rewarded with a ministerial position.

  2. Our country is a ” Banana Republic”; a strange place where corruption and incompetence are intricately interwoven together like the strands of a spiders web. A nation of corrupt, hungry people on a mission to get their own piece of the national cake by any means necessary that’s who we have now become. Honesty and Decency are words of no value whatsoever in my corrupt, backwards, stagnated, unimproved Sierra Leone. The President is corrupt and so also are his Ministers, public officials and the masses of struggling people trying to make ends meet.

    A crumbling nation standing on legs made of wood; A morally and financially bankrupt debilitating system of governance that resembles an old, broken nonfunctional compass – Accountability doesn’t exist here; Its every man for himself and God for us all; The will to see things through and accomplish lofty ideals no longer exists in Sierra Leone; Government has no plans or ideas on where to begin in order for us to start building a nation that will stand stoically in the midsts of others; When the rains and thunder storms come and when lightning unleashes her fires across the majestical dark skies,our little country will be among those still standing firm with her head held high with pride,happiness,hope and joy.

    The Minister of Energy needs to go back to the drawing board and create practical solutions that could solve the problem of electricity theft once and for all. But do they have the ability to stay focused and not change course when the challenges come? Time has already proven to us that they lack the discipline that is required to implement and bring innovative ideas to a successful completion. It will be a very wise move if the minister avoids using threats of arrests as a device to get people to abandon their shady ways,and use a friendly platform of mutual dialogue instead to get citizens to voluntarily cooperate with the authorities and obey the laws of the land. What have you got to lose by devising pragmatic cost effective ways to issue out meters to citizens that can’t afford them Sir ? Absolutely nothing at all.(lol)

  3. After 60 years of self rule, what do we have to show for it? These lesser humans (APC and SLPP) take turns to rob the people and show no sympathy for the suffering masses. They take it all and leave nothing for the poor people. They will all account for their deeds one day. Please stop blaming the Colonial masters. They are seeking the interest of their own people.

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