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    Thursday, March 28, 2024

    NERC Provides Firm Clarification to Crisis in Eko Electricity Distribution

    Uncertainty has surrounded prior declaration made by Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) regarding the replacement of its Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Dr Tinuade Sanda, with the Chief Commercial Officer, Rekiat Momoh.

    The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says its resolution on alleged ghost workers and crisis in the Lagos-based Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc (EKEDC), which the Chairman of the utility provider, Dr Dere Otubu, acted upon to announce the removal of Dr Tinuade Sanda, as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, as well as some other management staff, was misinterpreted.

    It was earlier reported on Tuesday, March 26, that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) directed the board of Eko Electricity Distribution Plc (EKEDC or EKEDP) to suspend with immediate effect all the workers of West Power and Gas Limited working with the company.

    The Tuesday’s leadership change at Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), Marina, Lagos, might have taken many by surprise, but beneath the official reason given by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of EKEDC, Dere Otubu, were said to be the high wire politics and power play that might linger in the weeks and months ahead.

    The head, Legal and Regulatory Committee of the DisCo, Babor Egeregor, in a statement, had defied the earlier directive by the Chairman, EKEDC, Dere Otubu, who announced the removal of Sanda as the Chief Executive Officer of the company.

    The DisCo, yesterday, had announced the appointment of Momoh as the Acting CEO of the company amid the redeployment of their erstwhile MD/CEO Sanda back to WPG Ltd, the core investor, who seconded her to the DisCo.

    Egeregor stated that the decision to remove Sanda did not align with the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) directive, which specifically addressed individuals implicated in allegations of fraud and negligence.

    He emphasised that NERC’s directives were issued to compel the Board of EKEDC, following picketing by the union and staff protests, to act appropriately in the face of a determined position of a majority of the board members to cover up the alleged use of ghost workers together with the alleged fraud and protect Wola Joseph Condotti especially.

    He further mentioned that the board acknowledged an alleged press statement appointing Rekiat Momoh as the Acting MD/CEO. However, he clarified that they hadnot convened or made any decisions regarding Momoh’s purported appointment as acting MD/CEO. 

    However, Chairman of NERC, Sanusi Garba, provided further clarification to its resolution in a letter seen by BrandIconImage, dated March 27, 2024, and addressed to Dr Otubu.

    Below are the full statements by EKEDC and NERC respectively.


    We refer to the publications made in relation to the above.

    We hereby inform the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) stakeholders and the general public that by a letter dated 27th of March 2024, NERC has clarified its directive which was earlier misapprehended and misconceived and, on which basis the MD/CEO Dr. Tinuade Sanda and other Management Staff were purportedly recalled to the parent company, WPG Limited.

    According to NERC, “ The Commission has noted the strong public interest generated by the current event at EKEDP and the various interpretations of the resolutions conveyed vide the said letter, particularly, with respect to paragraphs (4b) and 4(c). We therefore hereby provide further clarifications as follows :

    1. Paragraph 4b- All staff of EKEDP, irrespective of their form of engagement, will be subject to the Conditions of Service of EKEDP. The Commission deemed it necessary to pass this resolution based on the submission of EKEDP, at the meeting of 20 March 2024, that *the Condition of Service (“CoS”) of EKEDP was not applicable to Seconded personnel from third-party providers

    2. Paragraph 4c – The EKEDP Board is expected to conclude its review of its investigation into the allegation of Ghost workers to identify all personnel involved in causing the loss of revenues to EKEDP no later than 27th March 2024. In a case where the indicted parties are seconded from third-party providers and since they are reportedly NOT subject to the EKEDP CoS, they are to be recalled to their parent companies to avoid the risk of further losses to EKEDP”

    We appreciate the proactive action of the Commission and the clarifications, which unambiguously mean that:

    (A) all contracts of employment of anyone working for EKEDP, whether of WPG, EKEDP, or otherwise, must be subject to and regulated by the Condition of Service of EKEDP.

    (B) The legal fulcrum and basis for the purported recall of the seconded staff have been vitiated and are now non-existent since the basis of the recall of the seconded staff was the initial misinterpretation of the previous NERC Resolution/Orders

    (C)  The express recall and termination of the contract of employment of staffers/employees whose actions led to a loss of revenue to EKEDP. The staff, namely:

    Wola Joseph-Condotti, Sheri Adegbenro, and Aik Alenkhe -who had been subjected to Disciplinary Committee proceedings, the outcome of which has been contested by some Board members, including the Federal Government representative, the Bureau of Public Enterprise.

    Consequently, the seconded Management staff of WPG Limited, whose recalls were done in “error” are hereby mandated and required to return to their respective duties and offices EXCEPT those named above, already identified and subjected to Disciplinary Committee proceedings over the allegations of fraud and negligent actions through ghost workers and exited staff, which occasioned financial losses to the Company.

    We shall be providing full cooperation with the officers of the Nigerian Police, the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) the leadership of the Nigerian Body of Benchers, and relevant members of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee for further actions for closure on the alleged fraud.

    We once again thank the Regulator for providing this clarification, the NESI stakeholders and general public for their kind concerns, and the Staff of EKEDP and WPG Limited for their patience through all of this.

    Therefore, all initial orders or actions taken erroneously are hereby immediately reversed.

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    Item Reviewed: NERC Provides Firm Clarification to Crisis in Eko Electricity Distribution Rating: 5 Reviewed By: BrandIconImage
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