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New Eko DisCo Chairman, Oritsedere Otubu Visits Stakeholders

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NEW EKO DISCO CHAIRMAN VISITS STAKEHOLDERS

… seeks support in improving network to meet customers’ demand 

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The new Chairman of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), Mr. Oritsedere Otubu visited some stakeholders in the power industry in Abuja earlier this week.

This was in line with Mr. Otubu’s agenda to foster cordial relations with stakeholders following his appointment as the new chairman of the leading electricity distribution company in Nigeria last month.

Accompanied by the Company’s MD/CEO Engr. Adeoye Fadeyibi; EKEDC Director, Ernest Oji; and some members of the management team, the Chairman visited the Ministry of Power, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Niger Delta Power Holding Company, and the Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO). 

This information was released via an official statement signed by the Company’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr. Godwin Idemudia. He stated that the focus of the new chairman is to improve the exemplary relationship between Eko DisCo and the stakeholders in the power sector as well as consolidate the achievements of his predecessor.

At the meetings, Mr. Otubu appreciated the efforts of the various stakeholders towards Eko Disco and assured them of the Company’s support to improve electricity supply in the country. He said, ‘this visit is essential to us as we want our stakeholders to see us for who we are. We want to be more involved in the various plans and projects by the Government in strengthening our network. It is important for us to work in collaboration with stakeholders to identify areas where we can get things better and effectively supply power to our customers. Eko DisCo must not only show that it is the leading Disco but also prove that the privatisation process of the power sector is a success.’ 

The Chairman also cited the recent power supply issue in Lagos due to the drop in generation which led to frequent load shedding in many areas under the DisCo. He described the network as a strategic one growing rapidly because of increased industrial and commercial activities which have brought about the demand for more power supply. Hence, the inability to even meet up with the existing demand poses a real crisis for DisCo.      

EKO DISCO MEETS WITH MINISTER OF POWER, TCN, OTHERS TO IMPROVE POWER SUPPLY
BPE photograph.
EKO DISCO MEETS WITH MINISTER OF POWER, TCN, OTHERS TO IMPROVE POWER SUPPLY
NDPHC photograph

At the Federal Ministry of Power, the Chairman was welcomed by the Honourable Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu congratulated Mr. Otubu on his appointment. The Honourable Minister aligned with the Chairman’s call for more collaboration by the actors in the power sector and stated his confidence in the DisCo based on its track record of performance in the NESI, especially on financial remittance. He also explained that the Federal Government is currently working on projects to expand the capacity of the national grid to better serve not only Lagos but also the entire country.

The Director-General of BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh also congratulated Mr. Otubu on his appointment and expressed his satisfaction towards the drive for more collaboration with stakeholders by EKEDC Chairman. He stated that he is confident in the capacity and the competence of the new chair to take EKEDC to a greater level. Mr. Okoh emphasised that Eko DisCo occupies a strategic franchise area in the power industry, thus such an agenda is significant to the national economy and ensure that the intention of the privatisation process in making the sector more favourable to consumers and investors is achieved. He said he was impressed by how the Disco handled the recent power supply issues in Lagos and called on the other Discos to emulate such performance and carry along with the Bureau in their decision-making process, especially on key issues affecting the industry.

EKO DISCO MEETS WITH MINISTER OF POWER, TCN, OTHERS TO IMPROVE POWER SUPPLY
NELMCO photograph
EKO DISCO MEETS WITH MINISTER OF POWER, TCN, OTHERS TO IMPROVE POWER SUPPLY
NERC photograph
EKO DISCO MEETS WITH MINISTER OF POWER, TCN, OTHERS TO IMPROVE POWER SUPPLY
TCN photograph

In his statement to the Eko DisCo team, Engr. Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, the MD/CEO of TCN explained the importance of having an adequate power supply in Lagos as the State consumes more than 50% of the power generated. He equally assured Mr. Otubu that TCN will involve the Disco on several ongoing projects to improve the electricity infrastructure as well as meet the Disco’s request of receiving more allocation from the national grid. 

As a result of this visit, Eko Disco has assured its customers across its network of many development projects to improve service delivery and empower the quality of lives. Achieving an effective collaboration with the stakeholders, as the Chairman has stated, will move the power sector forward to meet the expectations of Nigerians.

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Eko Disco Assures Lagos Island Communities, Others Of Electrical Equipment For Improved Power Supply

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Eko Disco Assures Lagos Island Communities, And Others Of Electrical Equipment For Improved Power Supply

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) took its town hall meeting to Islands District on Thursday to further its strategic engagement with customers under its franchise network. Held at the Virgin Rose Resorts in Victoria Island, the forum was attended by residents of Lagos Island, Victoria Island, and Ikoyi environs.

According to a statement by the EKEDC General Manager, Corporate Communications, Godwin Idemudia, the Island District is strategic to our business, hence the importance of the engagement forum to help the Management to identify areas of improving power supply to the customers.

While commending EKEDC for the recent improvement of power supply and turnaround time to clearing faults, the customers at the meeting raised the issue of old and overloaded distribution infrastructure affecting supply in their communities. Many residents from Lagos Island complained about the faults as a result of weak underground cables and overloaded transformers and thus requested solutions from DisCo.

Eko Disco Assures Lagos Island Communities, And Others Of Electrical Equipment For Improved Power Supply
Left-Right: Divisional Crime Officer of Ikoyi Police Divisional Headquarters, Mr. Ishola Olaitan; EKEDC Chief Commercial Officer, Mrs. Rekhiat Momoh; Chairman, Odunfa Feeder Lagos Island, Pastor Odunloye Abisoye; and EKEDC Islands District Manager, Mr. Hakeem Fashola at the Customer Engagement Forum by the Disco on Thursday in Victoria Island, Lagos.

Reacting to the customers’ queries, the MD/CEO of EKEDC, Dr. Tinuade Sanda, represented by the Chief Commercial Officer, Mrs. Rekhiat Momoh, appreciated the customers’ feedback and explained that the presence of weak and old cables in the network was due to construction of buildings on such cables, which has made it difficult to carry out repairs. She however stated that EKEDC is devising alternative means to mitigate this challenge. Concerning the issue of the overloaded transformers, she assured the customers that the company, as part of its continuous improvements projects is working on providing relief distribution transformers to many areas under the Islands District.

The Divisional Crime Officer of Ikoyi Police Divisional Headquarters, Mr. Ishola Olaitan, explained to customers at the forum that the spate of vandalism in Ikoyi and Lagos Island also contributes to the damage of cables. He called on the customers to aid the Police Force and EKEDC in curbing the crime by reporting to the Police or EKEDC via its whistleblower platforms.

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BEDC: AGF Is Wrong That Ex Parte Order Expires By Effluxion Of Time

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BEDC Assures Stakeholders Of Restoration Of Board, Management

Court of Appeal in DEUX PROJECTS LIMITED & 3 ORS V. ACCESS BANK PLC – APPEAL NO. CA/LAG/CV/1342/2019

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The legal opinion purportedly issued by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami on the alleged refusal of the Managing Director of Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, to vacate office is unfortunate and inconsistent with position of the law.

It is doubtful if such a legal opinion could emanate from the office of the AGF in view of the decision of the Court of Appeal in DEUX PROJECTS LIMITED & 3 ORS V. ACCESS BANK PLC – APPEAL NO. CA/LAG/CV/1342/2019 delivered on 14/12/2020 at page pages 25 – 26 of the judgment where the court held that an ex parte order of the Federal High Court does not expire by effluxion of time until the court so pronounces.

According to the Court of Appeal judgment, per Balkisu Bello Aliyu JCA, it is for the judge to still determine whether the ex parte order granted by him has expired and until such pronouncement is made, the order remains extant and binding.

The rationale behind the decision of the Court of Appeal cited above is to prevent anarchy and lawlessness where a party to a suit may unilaterally declare an ex parte order as having expired and take the law into his own hands.

The said statement credited to Mr. Malami describing a court order as having expired is based on ignorance of the decision of the Coury of Appeal earlier cited which represents the current position of the law. The order of the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1113/2022 was granted by the court pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice. The Attorney General of the Federation has no judicial powers to declare a court order expired by any provision of the law.

The opinion credited to the AGF is on a matter adjourned for hearing and to come up on the 5th day of October 2022. Neither party to the proceedings nor the office of the AGF can nullify the order of the court on the ground that it had expired. Would that opinion be a justification for the Bureau of Public Enterprises to again invade with force the offices of BEDC and illegally sack Mrs. Osibodu from office?

In the first place, what legal authority did the Bureau of Public Enterprises have to sack the management of a company of which the government has only 40%? A government that has no judicial order or judgment to invade business premises by force is tantamount to what the Supreme Court described as executive lawlessness in Ojukwu v. Governor of Lagos State.

It is on record that the National Electricity Regulatory Commission and BPE did not obtain any court order before unilaterally announcing the dissolution of a company board in which the Federal Government is a minority shareholder. Even if the FGN were to be a majority shareholder, it cannot unilaterally dissolve the Board except where permitted by law.

It is advised that the office of the Honourable Attorney General, of the Federation, should desist from promoting lawlessness if the opinion really emanated from his office.

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Lawmakers Knock TCN Over Inability To Explain Power Generation, Summon MD

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Lawmakers Knock TCN Over Inability To Explain Power Generation, Summon MD

…Allege three persons committed Nigerians to $33m monthly payment for Azura power deal

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The House of Representatives Committee on Finance yesterday frowned at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) officials over their inability to explain the megawatts of electricity being generated by Power Generation Companies (GenCos), particularly the Azura power company.

The committee chaired by Hon. James Faleke (APC, Lagos) also picked holes in the $33 million being paid monthly to Azura, lamenting that two or three persons might have sat down to commit Nigeria to a such an agreement without commensurate value for money.

The federal government had signed a series of agreements with Azura — namely the power purchase agreement (PPA) on April 22, 2013, the put/call options agreement (PCOA) on October 22, 2014 and the PCOA “direct agreement” on December 18, 2014, with a clause that the federal government would “take or pay” for power generated as declared by Azura, “whether or not it is taken by the government-owned transmission company.”

The Committee currently investigating the proposed sale of the Nigerian Integrated Power Project (NIPP) had at the investigative hearing last week, with the Managing Director of NBET, Nnaemeka Eweluka, TCN, and Federal Inland Revenue Service lamented that Nigerians do not get value for the huge sum of money they are paying.

At the resumed investigative hearing, the lawmakers while expressing concerns about the erratic power supply in the country, lampooned the three Directors from TCN, warning that their seats were in danger for failing to represent Nigerians.

Faleke who accused the TCN officials of not being ready to tell Nigerians the truth said the officials were trying to twist issues relating to power generation by Azura power company

According to him, the TCN ought to know the number of electricity megawatts consumed per day.

Faleke said, “I am not confused. Transmission Company of Nigeria, first your MD took permission, according to you, to see the minister rather than coming to explain to Nigerians and to clarify issues. Market operator, if I understood your earlier statement that they have not been producing up to the 450 that was signed and they have justification for not producing up to that, in that case, will you say as a Nigerian that they have violated the agreement they signed?

“What you are telling Nigerians generally is that from the position you hold and being paid by taxpayers, you are not representing Nigerians and that your seat is already in danger.

“That is what you are telling Nigerians because you cannot even take an informed decision when it is necessary to take decisions on behalf of Nigerians. That is exactly what you have just exhibited.

“Why you are here before us was because you evacuate the power produced by Generating Companies, not only Azura. NBET was here on Friday and they will still be here tomorrow or so. So, it is not closed.

“We are only asking you from your own function as an evacuator of power, what power you have been evacuating from a 450megawwats generation company. We have not gone into other power generation companies. We have just picked one – not one.

“And do you know why we are concerned? We are concerned that Nigerians are willing to set up industries but there is no power, yet we are paying huge sums of money. This is just the issue, nothing more; not witch hunting. It is not about TCN; it is about Nigeria. So, all the questions that I have for TCN, I have to reserve them until your MD is here.

“There are other vital questions that this committee will want to ask. When the MD is seated, we will ask. Whatever position we have found ourselves, we are just opportune amongst 200 million people.”

Corroborating Faleke’s statement, another member of the Committee, Hon. Taiwo Oluga said, “If it is your document and we are arguing on it, whether it is megawatts or it is in kilowatts, an agreement has been signed on behalf of Nigerians in megawatts. Now you are presenting documents to the House in kilowatts/hour. So, Mr. Chairman, I will want to say that maybe these documents, should be re-present while we expect the chief executive to come and explain to Nigerians why $33m will be paid (to Azura) every month, yet we are not getting results.”

Another lawmaker, Hon. John Dyegh suggested that they submit the documents presented TCN to a consultant for a proper analysis.

The TCN Directors, Mr. Victor Adewumi, Executive Director, Transmission Service Provider, Engr Edmond Eje, Director Market Operations, and Mr. Ogwu Benedict, in charge of Agreement, had in their presentations said Azura was supposed to generate 450 Megawatt and most of the time its generally lower.

In his ruling, Faleke summoned the Managing Director of TCN, Sule Abdulaziz, to appear before it unfailingly today August 23 2022.

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