Prof.Bath Nnaji Reads Riot Act to Power Company CEOs
Any Chief Executive Officer from the 18 unbundled PHCN companies whofails to meet the power targets agreed to be delivered to the nation will not be allowed to continue as manager, Power Minister Prof. Bart Nnaji said at a meeting which was held in the Ministry's Boardroom today.
In his first meeting with the 18 CEOs and other top level managers in the generation, transmission and distribution companies, the Minister reminded them of the service level agreements (SLAs) that they signed through which the nation was expected to enjoy nearly 4,000MW of power.
Any CEO that fails to meet the agreed target will be visited with the consequences of non-performance, he said.
'As companies, certain performances are expected from you as chief executives. Why are you not running your companies as businesses? Each company should be able to pay its bills and pay itself,' he said.
Prof. Nnaji said that he called the meeting to review the state of power delivery infrastructure and services as well as discuss ways of meeting the 50% percent wage increase agreed with the workers' union.
He expressed displeasure that the minimum levels of power that the CEOs signed to generate and deliver to the nation were not maintained for the month of June 2011 and directed that the situation be revised forthwith.
He also deplored frequent service breakdowns and transmission collapses that appear to be traceable to human errors. Henceforth, each service failure is to be reviewed and anyone found to have been negligent would be appropriately sanctioned, he said.
The managers informed the Minister that they are doing their best to cope with ageing equipment that constantly breaks down due to transmission breakdowns.
Engr. Justus Obilomo, CEO Eko Electricty Distribution Company and chairman of the committee of PHCN CEOs, who spoke on their behalf, promised that they would do their best to meet and possibly exceed the target of 5,000MW this year.
This, he said, is dependent on the rehabilitation and refurbishment of facilities and with so much work going on in transmission and generation projects.
At the end of the meeting, a committee of nine was raised to work out details of generating and paying the increased wage bill, which has been estimated at over N3.5 billion a month.
The Minister was told that the current wage bill is over N7billion a month, bringing the total monthly salary payment to over N11billion with the expected wage increase.
The minister was also told that the companies have been generating N11.6billion per month.
The CEOs pointed out that the salary increase will take up everything, leaving them little funds to operate. They consequently implored the Minister to go back to government to plead for bailout funds.
Apart from the operational expenses which they said they are finding very challenging to meet, PHCN is heavily indebted to gas and electricity suppliers.
For instance, it was revealed that PHCN owes N60billion to Agip alone and is equally heavily exposed to Shell, AES, the Nigerian Gas Company, and power generating companies such as Ibom Power.
The minister also asked the chief executives to report to him any of his aides or relations who may approach them for contracts or financial assistance.
"You are fully in charge of your respective enterprises and organisations, and the era of undue interference in your work is over. Let no one deceive you to part with your money in the belief that he will lobby for you. Only your performance will determine whether you retain your position or not".
The meeting was attended by directors of the Ministry and top officials of the Presidential Task Force on Power.