Chron­i­cling Mup­waya’s 365 days as AEDC CEO

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

To­day is ex­actly one year since Engr. Ernest Raphael Mup­waya as­sumed of­fice as Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor/ CEO of Abuja Elec­tric­ity Dis­tri­bu­tion Com­pany (AEDC) Plc. A mem­ber of the Nige­rian So­ci­ety of En­gi­neers (NSE), Mup­waya emerged AEDC CEO highly pre­pared for the job hav­ing capped his three decades of en­gi­neer­ing prac­tice with a mas­ter’s in busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion (MBA). Equally, be­fore his as­sump­tion of duty as CEO on Au­gust 1, 2016, he was the Com­pany’s Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor in charge of Com­mer­cial Ser­vices, a po­si­tion he held for three years. Mup­waya, thus, took the driver’s seat at AEDC set to nav­i­gate the pre­vail­ing stormy at­mos­phere in the Nige­rian power sec­tor.

Ev­i­dently, the Nige­rian Elec­tric­ity Sup­ply In­dus­try (NESI) was con­fronted with var­i­ous chal­lenges at the point of Mup­waya’s as­cen­sion to the po­si­tion of MD of AEDC. Power gen­er­a­tion was low. Be­sides, the in­dus­try was fac­ing a huge liq­uid­ity chal­lenge be­cause, among other rea­sons, cus­tomers’ re­sis­tance to the pay­ment of the re­vised elec­tric­ity tar­iff which in it­self is not cost re­flec­tive. Also, the dwin­dling Naira ex­change rate and the ris­ing in­fla­tion in the econ­omy im­pacted neg­a­tively on the sec­tor. More so, there was a dis­il­lu­sion­ment with the pri­vati­sa­tion of the sec­tor by a sec­tion of the Nige­rian pub­lic.

Con­scious of the per­sist­ing tur­bu­lence when he took over, there­fore, Mup­waya be­gan his stew­ard­ship by strate­gi­cally en­gag­ing with some key stake­hold­ers of the Com­pany as a con­fi­dence-build­ing mech­a­nism. No­table among stake­hold­ers he en­gaged with in his ini­tial days in Of­fice were the Gov­er­nor of Niger State, Al­haji Abubakar Sani Bello and the eight top mon­archs in that state; the Min­is­ter of Power, Works and Hous­ing, Mr. Ba­batunde Raji Fashola, SAN; the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello; the Gov­er­nor of the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria (CBN), Mr. God­win Eme­fiele; the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Bud­get Of­fice of the Fed­er­a­tion, Mr. Ben Ak­abueze, as well as me­dia es­tab­lish­ments such as DAAR Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Plc (pro­pri­etors of Africa In­de­pen­dent Tele­vi­sion-AIT and Ray Power FM) and Me­dia Trust Lim­ited (pub­lish­ers of Daily Trust). These high pro­file en­gage­ments not only so­lid­i­fied AEDC’s con­fi­dence-build­ing ef­forts amongst its stake­hold­ers, it also rapidly im­proved the Com­pany’s cash col­lec­tion.

Hav­ing re­alised cus­tomers’ anx­i­ety about hav­ing pre­paid me­ters, Mup­waya’s next ma­jor move af­ter the con­fi­dence­build­ing diplo­matic swing was to vig­or­ously pur­sue the Com­pany’s mass me­ter­ing pro­grammes for both large and small power users across its fran­chise area which in­cludes FCT, Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger states. And quite char­ac­ter­is­tic of his gusto, AEDC’s large power user (LPU) me­ter­ing scheme was of­fi­cially flagged off on Novem­ber 9, 2016, which co­in­cided with his 50th day in Of­fice, while the small power users’ (SPU) me­ter­ing project was launched on the 21st of De­cem­ber last year. Again, the CEO’s drive en­sured the con­clu­sion of the me­ter­ing of all its LPU cus­tomers also re­ferred to as max­i­mum de­mand (MD) cus­tomers ahead of the Fe­bru­ary 28, 2017 date­line set by the Nige­rian Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion (NERC).

To en­hance speedy ex­e­cu­tion of the Com­pany’s SPU me­ter­ing project, Mup­waya ac­cel­er­ated the cus­tomer enu­mer­a­tion project through mass re­cruit­ment of enu­mer­a­tors and ac­qui­si­tion of sev­eral util­ity ve­hi­cles for the unit, among oth­ers. But even while the enu­mer­a­tors criss­crossed towns, vil­lages and streets across the AEDC’s cov­er­age area to cap­ture data­base of the Com­pany’s cus­tomers, the CEO suc­cess­fully ne­go­ti­ated con­tracts for pro­vi­sion and in­stal­la­tion of 90,000 me­ters by Mo­jec Nige­ria Lim­ited and another 30,000 by ZTE Nige­ria Lim­ited, all at the cost of N3.4 bil­lion. Hitherto, the Com­pany had in­stalled over 78,000 me­ters for cus­tomers through the NERC-in­sti­tuted Cred­ited Ad­vanced Pay­ment for Me­ter­ing Im­ple­men­ta­tion (CAPMI) which was sus­pended last year.

Side by side the me­ter­ing projects is the ef­fort to pro­vide cash­less pay­ment so­lu­tions for ease of trans­ac­tions by cus­tomers. Mind­ful of the pen­chant for en­ergy theft and other forms of fraud by cus­tomers too, the MD ini­ti­ated part­ner­ship with strate­gic stake­hold­ers such as the Of­fice of the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions (DPP) of the Fed­er­a­tion to curb such in­ci­dents. The Com­pany is also pur­su­ing other part­ner­ships es­pe­cially in cur­tail­ing van­dal­is­ing of power equip­ment in its fran­chise area.

Other strides by the cur­rent CEO in­clude sus­tain­ing the tempo of im­prove­ments in the Com­pany’s network in­fra­struc­ture, ac­qui­si­tion of ICT equip­ment, pro­cure­ment of ad­di­tional util­ity ve­hi­cles as well as other im­ple­ments re­quired to en­sure a con­ducive work­ing en­vi­ron­ment for em­ploy­ees such as per­sonal pro­tec­tion equip­ment (PPE), es­pe­cially for tech­ni­cal staff who clear faults and main­tain the power sup­ply lines. He has also en­sured the take­off of the Com­pany’s Train­ing In­sti­tute to for­tify staff for the chal­lenges ahead as Nige­ria’s power sec­tor evolves into an ef­fi­cient one. Mup­waya has also sped up the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the busi­ness process re­form and trans­for­ma­tion projects be­ing ex­e­cuted in part­ner­ship with Te­tra Tech, an Amer­i­can con­sult­ing firm. This is in a bid to change the work cul­ture in AEDC to­wards global best prac­tices.

A com­bi­na­tion of these and some other fac­tors have greatly boosted the morale of staff. The em­ploy­ees are not only grat­i­fied by AEDC’s me­te­oric rise to the top among the Dis­tri­bu­tion Com­pa­nies in terms of var­i­ous as­sess­ment indices, they are also happy that their wel­fare is be­ing ac­corded the right kind of at­ten­tion. A ma­jor con­se­quence of these is the ris­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity across the Com­pany, which ul­ti­mately en­hances its per­for­mance amidst its peers.

AEDC has won nu­mer­ous ac­co­lades and recog­ni­tion in the NESI. For in­stance, it has been ad­judged the best Dis­tri­bu­tion Com­pany in terms of cor­po­rate gov­er­nance prac­tices. Also, it is the first Disco to be is­sued with an en­vi­ron­men­tal au­dit cer­tifi­cate for completion of au­dit across its en­tire fran­chise area. The Com­pany has since De­cem­ber 2016 ranked first in re­mit­tances to the elec­tric­ity mar­ket as pub­li­ca­tions of the Nige­rian Bulk Elec­tric­ity Trader (NBET) have con­firmed. All these are feats achieved un­der Mup­waya’s stew­ard­ship.

Wor­thy of note also is the con­sid­er­able progress be­ing made in re­duc­ing the Com­pany’s av­er­age tech­ni­cal, com­mer­cial and col­lec­tion (ATC& C) losses, an is­sue that is dear to the hearts of Reg­u­la­tors of the in­dus­try.

It is equally re­mark­able that un­der his stew­ard­ship AEDC is do­ing more in terms of Cor­po­rate So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity (CSR), thus im­pact­ing greatly on the lives of the Com­pany’s host com­mu­ni­ties, aside im­prov­ing power sup­ply to them.

Although the Com­pany’s jour­ney to its dream of a world class sta­tus is still miles ahead, Mup­waya has in­deed proven all the pre­dic­tions about his adroit­ness as right. While hand­ing over AEDC to the cur­rent CEO, his pre­de­ces­sor, Mr. Neil Croucher had this to say: “We have achieved a lot with Ernest (Mup­waya) and other mem­bers of the EMT (Ex­ec­u­tive Man­age­ment Team). We have al­ways thought and acted to­gether. I think you will take the Com­pany higher.” Speak­ing at a send forth din­ner for the Mr. Croucher, a for­mer Chair­man of the Nige­rian Elec­tric­ity Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion (NERC), Dr. Sam Amadi said: “I’ve no doubt that the new CEO will take AEDC higher given his ex­pe­ri­ence”.

As he be­gins the next lap in the jour­ney to mak­ing AEDC’s cus­tomers ex­ceed­ingly happy, it is the view of keen watch­ers that Mup­waya’s ac­cel­er­ated steps will take the Com­pany to its des­ti­na­tion even faster than many ex­pect.

Ahmed Sheka­rau is the Head of Pub­lic Re­la­tions & Me­dia of AEDC.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.