Following her suspension by the Minister of Power Engineer Saleh Mamman, on Tuesday 24th December 2019 and subsequent reinstatement by the federal government on Thursday 9th January 2020, through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, staff members of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trade PLC, have sent a letter of appreciation to President Buhari, thanking him for recalling the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bulk trading firm, Dr Marilyn Amobi to her duty post, describing the president’s action as a just and fair decision.
In a letter to the President, signed by 38 out of 46 staff of the agency, which was sighted by our correspondent yesterday, they said for over three years under the tutelage and guidance of Dr Amobi, she has “ upheld the highest standards of leadership, integrity, service orientation, character, professionalism and decorum in handling her work,” which, within the few months of assuming duty as the CEO of the agency, she “renegotiated the tariff for the executed fourteen Solar PPAs, which she inherited from her predecessor, down from US$ 11.5 cents /KWh, to US$ 7.5 cents /KWh, thereby saving the Federal Government over 2billion dollars in payments that would have made to these IPPs, when these projects commence delivery of power to the national grid.”
The employees also noted that Dr Amobi has since inception as MD/CEO of NBET ensured prompt and timely of market remittances from distribution companies (DISCOs) to generation companies (GENCOs), culminating in N52billion to N55bllion monthly market payments to GENCOs.
Due to market liquidity crises which arose from abysmal payment by DISCOs, Dr Amobi, the letter also added, “secured Federal Executive Council’s approval for the disbursement of both the first tranche of N701.9 billion and a second tranche of N600 billion loans which were granted to NBET by the Central Bank of Nigeria, to augment payments to GENCOs, make payments to gas supplies and stabilize market payments.
In addition, the letter noted that Dr Amobi and her team have “Developed an innovative two-part Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for new entrant Independent Power Producers (IPPs); (an energy only PPA which transitions into a take or pay PPAs once measurable market conditions are attained), the first of its kind in the world.
“This innovation promotes the procurement of incremental electric energy in a sustainable manner from all sources of fuel and ensures that NBET remains a going concern to meet its aggregated financial obligation to its clients, as well as complies with the directives NBET has received from both the Honourable Minister of Finance and sector regulator, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
“This PPA has been shared with all eight gas IPPs for their received positive feedback from these IPPs, and some have officially written to express their interest in executing these PPAs.
“We believe that given the desperate need to create additional jogs by a timeous and accelerated development of infrastructure across the country, the impending execution of this draft two-part PPA with some gas IPPs will deliver immense economic benefits to Nigerians in the short-medium term.”
On the allegation that she made a fraudulent payments of N2billion to the Olorunsogo and Omotosho Power Plants, allegation that was instigated by few disgruntled staff of the agency, the letter explained that Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) investigated the allegation and acquitted Dr Amobi of any wrong doing vide a notice published by NERC on “Allegations of Fraudulent payments of NGN2bn to the Olorungoso and Omotosho power plants by the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc” in BusinessDay Newspaper, page 4, ThisDay Newspaper, page 44 and Daily Trust Newspaper, page 35 on February 28th, 2019.
The letter maintained that “Despite the media onslaught aimed at the NBET MD/CEO, in our considered opinion, Dr. Amobi has maintained the highest level of integrity and professionalism in the discharge of her duties. She is a champion of your anti-corruption agenda and has been known to stay clear of unquestionable actions and policies.”
However, correspondent gathered that despite the fair and just actions of Mr. President to call back Ms. Amobi, some executive management employees of NBET have continued to harass and threaten Dr Amobi.
It was learnt that most recently, this group of employees issued a query to their MD/CEO, asking her to explain why their names were in a recent newspaper advert publication which was came out February 17, 2020 in two major national dailies.
They gave Dr Amobi an ultimatum of 36 hours to respond to the query or face a potential disciplinary action by them.
“It is only in NBET that public servants see themselves as bigger than a government appointee and feel so entitled as to issue a query to a senior colleague. This is unheard of in any other organisation.
“Meanwhile, this group of staff are disgruntled mostly because they were recently relieved of their hitherto juicy positions. Thus, they are fighting not for the employees of NBET but for their own pockets. These are the same people who stood with her when they held juicy positions,” said a high placed source in NBET, who didn’t want his name in the prints.