Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC Removes Tinuade As MD/CEO, Others Seconded From Parent Company, WPG

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has 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.

West Power & Gas Limited (WPG) is a limited liability company incorporated under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which has a stake in EKEDP.

It says on its website that it was “established for the purpose of investing in, operating and managing electricity related business in the most reliable and professional manner for the benefit of Nigerian power consumers”.

SaharaReporters gathered that the directive may be connected with the recent petition by some concerned staff members of EKEDP to the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima; Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for intervention in the alleged endemic corruption in the management of the electricity distribution firm.

Although the company has dismissed the allegation, describing it as unfounded, the accusers have continued to push for external investigation.

SaharaReporters reported on March 18, that the Board of Directors and Management of the electricity distribution company had cleared all the staff members accused of corruption and other fraudulent practices.

The Board in a statement signed by its Chairman, Dere Otubu, titled “Eko Disco Management Cleared In ‘Ghost Worker’ Investigation,” said that the investigation into the ‘ghost workers’ allegations had been concluded and findings indicated that the allegations of fraud, negligence, or conspiracy against some members of staff were unfounded.

However, in compliance with the directive of NERC, the Board Chairman, Otubu, directed the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Eko Electricity Distribution Plc, Dr. Tinuade Sanda to leave her position, as she was also seconded from WPG.

Indeed, media learnt that following the directive, the MD/CEO, Chief Legal Officer, Chief Finance Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Auditor and Compliance Officer and others on secondment at the company handed over their handover notes to their subordinates on Monday and Tuesday as directed.

A copy of the letter addressed to the MD/CEO signed by the board chairman, dated March 25, 2024 and obtained by SaharaReporters, is titled: ‘Implementation Of NERC Directive On Seconded Staff.’

The letter reads, “We have received a NERC directive dated March 21, 2024, which instructed Eko Electricity Distribution Plc inter alia, as follows: ‘EKEDC is hereby directed to ensure that all staff working for the utility are employed by the utility directly, bound by applicable service conditions that are applicable to the employees of the utility and paid through the utilities payroll.’

“The Disco is obligated to obey these directives due to the powers of NERC as stipulated in the Electricity Act 2023. In compliance with the above directive, all seconded staff from WPG Ltd are being released by Eko Electricity Distribution Plc and returned to WPG Ltd.

“You are hereby relieved of your role, office, and position at Eko Electricity Distribution Plc effective immediately and returned to WPG Ltd your Employer.

“You are further directed to hand over to the highest ranking staff of Eko Electricity Distribution Plc under you.

“We hereby record our appreciation of your valuable services and contribution to the growth and successes achieved by Eko Electricity Distribution Plc over the years as a seconded staff from WPG.”

A source said that those affected were discovered to have been operating with a ‘double standard’ on the job.

The Director of IT department, JP Attueyi, a WPG staff member also seconded to EKEDC has handed over to the most senior in his department.

In his handover note, addressed to the IT Department and Temitope Odufuwa, dated March 25, Attueyi said it was in compliance with the directive of the chairman.

It partly read: “As you may be aware, I am a WPG staff seconded to EKEDC – WPG owns EKEDC. Today I got an email from the EKEDC Chairman saying that all WPG staff have been recalled back to the parent company effective immediately. As such, I will be handing over to Tope to run the IT department.”

“Please give him the necessary support as we navigate this period,” he wrote.

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