Eko DISCO: My Odyssey – Embattled MD/CEO

Eko DISCO: My Odyssey – Embattled MD/CEO

24th April 2024, NewsOrient
From Ferdinand Okor Editor-At-Large, Abuja

Says She Inherited over N3.6 billion loans

Embattled Managing Director and Chief Executive Of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), Dr. Tinuade Sanda on Wednesday formally opened up on allegations that she had been sacked due to poor performance.

While describing the allegation as a misrepresentation and not the accurate feedback on her performance, she said upon assuming office, she inherited substantial loans and over N3.6 billion owed vendors for goods and services already rendered.

Sanda made the clarification in a statement obtained by journalists in Abuja.

The statement reads, “When I assumed the role of MD/CEO at Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) in 2022, I faced significant hurdles, including ATC&C losses at 29.87% and CE at 82.69%. With my team’s support and dedication, we began addressing these challenges, striving for operational improvements. Over time, we made notable progress, reducing ATC&C losses to 1% and improving CE to 99.25% by March 2024.

“Similarly, EKEDC achieved its highest-ever monthly collection of N17.1 billion in January 2024, highlighting our financial acumen and strategic vision. It is noteworthy that these achievements were recorded without the need for a tariff increase. Our focus on operational efficiency led to the lowest-ever energy leakage blocked (ATC&C) losses, highlighting our commitment to excellence.

In this time, we also launched the fast-delivery mass metering program (Mobile MAP Initiative) under 72 hours, resulting in the delivery of over 80,832 meters. This further demonstrates our dedication to enhancing our customer service and satisfaction.

“Upon assuming office, I inherited substantial loans and over N3.6b owed vendors for goods and services already rendered. This exacerbated the company’s liquidity challenges, but I took on the responsibility to address these debts. They included a CBN Meter loan amounting to N4,693,706,837.72, a CBN operating expenditure (OPEX) Ramp Up Loan totaling N29,525,442,959.40, and a CBN capital expenditure (CAPEX) loan of N14,487,447,715, all of which were originally intended for capital projects that were later abandoned.

Although much of the loan disbursed had little economic value to EKEDC, I urged my team to stay focused and resilient, as we oversaw the repayment of these loans, taking decisive steps to alleviate the financial strain on the company.

“Despite the challenges I encountered, one of my first impactful decisions was to raise staff salaries by 25%. This was a significant move as it was the first increase of this magnitude in over a decade at Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC). This action was taken while we kept operational expenses in check and expanded our fleet by 150 new vehicles, enhancing our capacity to respond to service calls more efficiently.

“To achieve my vision of a unique corporate identity grounded in local context, I designed a comprehensive engagement strategy that reflected my dedication to corporate leadership and stakeholder growth. This involved restructuring customer and community interactions, establishing a 24/7 rapid response squad to expedite fault resolution, implementing strategies to improve brand positioning and service delivery, and creating inclusive, impactful, and sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility programs.

These initiatives were part of our innovation-driven approach, that led to exceptional outcomes and a surge of activities focused on fostering positive change.

“Furthermore, Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) achieved ISO 27001 certification, highlighting our commitment to data protection and security. Our partnership with VI Power enabled us to boost power supply to customers on the Island, demonstrating our dedication to customer satisfaction. Our strategic investments in infrastructure, including the acquisition of Statistical Meters to monitor all existing feeders, have significantly reduced losses and enhanced operational efficiency. This approach translated into a 99.2% complaint resolution rate year-to-date in 2024.

“I came to EKEDC with a clear focus on zero tolerance for mediocrity and corruption, emphasizing the pursuit of excellence that has shaped my leadership style. To align everyone with our vision, I prioritized effective communication among all stakeholders. This commitment led to EKEDC ranking 1st in market remittance for Q3, 2023, a notable rise from 3rd place in the previous quarter.

“My achievements have been acknowledged with several prestigious awards, including The Peak Performer CEO Of the Year (2023) and Vanguard’s Energy Icon of the Year, (2023) Additionally, the Nigeria House of Dream Parliament recognized me as the most proactive female personality in the power sector of Nigeria (2023). Additionally, and most prestigiously, I served as a member of the power committee set up by the Presidency. under the RENEWED HOPE AGENDA of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“Similarly, before my appointment as MD EKEDC, I have been honored with numerous prestigious awards, which highlight my dedication to excellence, accountability, and innovation in the power sector. Some notable recognitions include the USAID Certificate of Achievement for my ongoing partnership with the USAID Engendering Industries Intensive Program since 2015, the NECA Employers Excellence Award Winner in the Electricity Distribution Sector for 2021, the AFRISAFE CEO Of the Year in 2022, and the African Prize for Leadership Excellence: Power Personality Leadership Prize in 2017.

I also received the Eko Electricity Distribution Company MD/CEO Executive Award in 2018 for “being on time every time.” Most recently, I was awarded the Distribution Company (Disco) of the Year 2023 by the Energy Times.

“While rumours have been circulating, alleging that my appointment as MD/CEO had been terminated due to poor performance, I want to clarify that this is a misrepresentation and not the accurate feedback on our performance. In fact, I have consistently received accolades from the board, recognizing my leadership and my management team’s strong performance.

“For instance, on March 6, 2024, I received commendations from the Chairman, Human Resources & Corporate Services, Tunji Owolafe, following my correspondence about EKEDC’s compliance with market obligations, where he praised the performance of my team.

He wrote in an email, “Dear MD, this is very good news, congratulations and well done to you and your team.” I had previously received similar accolades from Dr. Tunji Owolafe and the Board Chairman, Dere Otubu, on December 5th and 6th, 2023, for our strong November performance He wrote, “Congratulations to you and your team for the good performance in November”. These emails are available as evidence of the positive feedback I have received.

“What started as an investigation to address fraud and complicity in ghost worker activities by 3 of our executive management team has now escalated into cyberbullying and slanderous attacks against my person. Rather than addressing the actual issue, there is an effort to distract by spreading unfounded rumors. I believe that ethical journalism should be based on the principles of truth, objectivity, and fairness, rather than fallacies that are solely based on rumors and propaganda. Hence, a need to clarify this situation and counter all false claims against me.

“I want to state that I have served diligently and efficiently at EKEDC with the utmost integrity and worked to sanitize the system for optimal productivity and quality service delivery. I have also worked to enhance the assets and net worth of our stakeholders with transparency, integrity, and fairness, and consistently acted in the best interests of EKEDC and all its stakeholders.

“I remain committed to upholding the values that have guided my leadership. I thank everyone who has supported me throughout this journey, and I look forward to continuing to serve with the same dedication and professionalism that has defined my career.”

~ NewsOrient