The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) says it is losing about N2.5 billion monthly due to meter bypass and vandals in four states.
The states are Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers.
According to Ajagbawa, the revenue loss affects the company’s efforts to expand its facilities in the four states it operates.
“We urge customers to be fair to us and stop tampering with our meters as it is called energy theft.
“The only way we can survive and improve on our services is when customers pay their bills and stop bypassing their meter,” he said.
The managing director said the company would soon commence mass disconnection and arrest of residents to recover the lost revenue.
He urged the National Assembly to propose and pass a bill that would criminalise and punish offenders caught in the act.
Ajagbawa said that in spite of massive metering of homes in the four states, the company’s revenue portfolio had yet to improve.
“So, we need legislation to criminalise energy theft and vandalism of electricity facilities. People should learn to pay for energy consumed.
“If the government criminalises this practice and makes the consequences severe, definitely, we will have it better in the country.
“To this end, we have disciplined our staff, who were involved in these corrupt acts. We are taking drastic steps to stop corruption among the staff and customers,” he added.
Ajagbawa said the company needed about N40 billion to meter customers in the four states it covered.
He, however, insisted that PHED did not retrench 120 workers, an allegation made by the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC).
“PHED commends the Rivers Government for its construction of some electricity distribution centres aimed at boosting electricity supply in the state,” Ajagbawa said.