By Anthony Isaac
Following the suspension of controversial Managing Director/CEO of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), Dr Marilyn Amobi by the Minister of Power, a new Acting CEO, Dr Nnaemeka Ewelukwa has assumed office.
The Bulk Trader in a statement by Ms Aisha Waziri of the Corporate Services Department of NBET in Abuja on Wednesday, said Ewelukwa, a General Manager, and the pioneer General Counsel and Company Secretary at NBET, has taken charge of the agency’s operations.
Ms Waziri explained that Ewelukwa has been part of the executive management team of NBET and has over 20 years of professional experience spanning private practice, academia and currently, public service.
The statement added: “Prior to joining NBET, he served as a Technical Adviser on electricity regulatory and transaction issues with the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP} set up by the Federal Government to lead the implementation of the reform roadmap for the power sector.
“He has led NBET’s negotiations with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and the development of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs} at NBET.
“Paving the way for billions of dollars in additional private sector investments in the electric power sector”.
Recall that the suspended Amobi had had a running battle with operators especially power generation companies (GenCos) and staff of NBET who accused her of highhandedness.
She was last week accused by some staff of allegedly using officers of Department of State Security (DSS) to arrest and arbitrary detain them in order to silence opposition to the manner she was running the company.
In November, GenCos threatened to shut down power plants across the country following disputes with NBET over failure of the company to power generators 100 percent of their invoice in line with their Power Purchase Agreement.
The Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), Dr Joy Ogaji told journalists in Abuja that NBET was imposing an illegal 0.75 percent charge on invoices paid to gas suppliers.
“NBET has now reduced its role to blackmailing and threatening GenCos investors and chairmen who have refused to concede to NBET’s illegal demand of a 0.75 per cent charge on invoices paid to gas suppliers.
“NBET has clearly threatened not to release payments due GenCos until they accede to NBET’s request, urging them to agree for a quid pro quo with the 0.75 per cent administrative charge.
“The situation is truly grave and completely unprecedented as NBET has completely shed its role as a licencee of the industry and has taken on some sort of regulatory role.
“This singular action by NBET may lead to shutdown of power supply by GenCos, who have unanimously agreed to call the bluff of NBET.
“GenCos have, in addition to the mounting debts being owed, working under the harsh, unprofessional and unethical dealings from the NBET management staff”.
Following these allegations, the Minister of Power, Mr. Sale Mamman, on Tuesday directed Amobi to step down, and raised a five-man committee to investigate the complaints against her.