The attention of the management of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) has been drawn to the publication “Fire guts Oyo Gov’s Wife’s Office” in the Nigerian Tribune (22nd March, 2016, Page 41) alleging a fire outbreak in the ICT department of the Oyo state governor’s wife’s office was due to power surges resulting from numerous power interruptions from our company. Firstly we wish to categorically state that there were no numerous power interruptions from IBEDC on the said day and time.

Immediately after reading the publication, IBEDC’s technical team swung into action to ascertain the veracity of the information published by carrying out investigations which included a physical inspection of the building, the transformer that provides electricity to the said building and other buildings on the transformer. They also examined the service wire, fuse and cut-outs including the metering accessories and gear switch within the premises of the main building.

If in fact there was an electrical surge from the public supply, it would not affect the house alone but all others on the same transformer/feeder. We were able to confirm that the fault which resulted in the fire incident was purely internal to the building. Such faults could be the result of appliances being switched on for a prolonged period without cooling or left uncared for after the close of business. It could also result from insulation failure of the electrical infrastructure in the house which may have led to burning or an explosion.

As a customer-driven and safety focused organization, we wish to educate the public and our valued customers to ensure that they observe safety standards especially wiring codes and proper earthing. It has been observed over time that many buildings do not have electric earth leakage circuit breakers and proper earthing of equipment to douse the effect of surges if any. Customers should always ensure all electrical appliances are switched off when not in use. More so, we advise that professionally trained and certified engineers and technicians be consulted before wiring a premise. There are standardized procedures, specified quality and equipment ratings that must be followed before energizing a structure and equipment as stated in electrical wiring codes worldwide. We however commiserate on the losses incurred.