EEDC speaks on suspension as market participant

EEDC speaks on suspension as market participant

The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has condemned its suspension as a market participant.

It, therefore, urged the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to vacate and retract the suspension.

In a letter signed by Mr. Paul Okeke, the Deputy Managing Director of EEDC and addressed to the Executive Director, Market Operator, TCN, with specific attention of Engr. E. Eje, Market Operator, TCN; EEDC described her suspension as market participant and publication of same in some national newspapers as a “premeditated act of utmost bad faith”.

The protest letter obtained by ND REPORTERS in Enugu also said the suspension and publication of same a day before officially informing EEDC about it, was calculated to embarrass the company in the eyes of esteemed customers as EEDC has been inundated with enquiries as to the status of the company as a licensee.

ND REPORTERS reports that the TCN had on June 25 announced the suspension of EEDC as market participant, citing breach of “Market Rules 15.3.3”, which refers to non remittance of “Security Cover” for three consecutive months.

According to Engr. Eje, the Market Operator of TCN, EEDC’s alleged inability to pay the said security cover amounting to N2, 433, 099, 975.07, precipitated the suspension.

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But reacting to the development in the protest letter, EEDC through the Deputy Managing Director, Paul Okeke, faulted the TCN, insisting that even in the “Market Rule 15.3.3” cited, there was a proviso that once a market participant acknowledges and proposes modalities for posting of the Security Cover, such punishment should not be carried out against her.

He said that EEDC had already written TCN informing her off the challenges it was facing in meeting the deadline and intimating it of fresh arrangements to procure and deliver to MO the Security Cover before the end of June.

According to him, “we are particularly surprised that this advisory is coming a day after MO caused a publication to be made on the Business Day Newspaper of Tuesday, 25th June, 2019 at a page 4 announcing suspension of EEDC as a market participant in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

“For purposes of setting the record straight, it is important to reiterate the background act and/or sequence of events before now. Your office informed EEDC that our Security Cover posted as a market participant has expired and requested that same be placed within two weeks. EEDC immediately commenced the process with our bankers, First Bank of Nigeria Limited. When we realized that the Security Cover cannot be procured and delivered to MO within two weeks period, we wrote back to MO requesting for an extension to on or before the end of June, 2019.

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“Surprisingly, your office issued simultaneously a Notice of Default and another letter informing EEDC that it has been sanctioned for N7,500,000.00 under Level 4 of offender of the Market Rules 2014. A third letter was sent informing EEDC of our right request for hearing on this matter under the same Market Rules.”

He recalled that “EEDC replied the three last letters, drawing the attention of MO to our earlier letter which cited reasons for not being able to post the Security Cover that was sent before the 3 letters that had MO reckoned the contents of our earlier letter, they would not have issued the fine of N7,500,000.00. EEDC argued that even the section being relied upon required that the particular Disco must not have responded to MO’s request for replenishment of the Security Cover or given reason(s) for not doing so before any advance step will be considered against such a Disco.

“At the meeting/hearing on 13th June, 2019, EEDC among other things, informed the meeting/Panel of the efforts being made to procure the requisite Security Cover and promised that it will be made available on or before the end of June 2019. Therefore parties parted with the understanding that the Security Cover will be made available by EEDC on or before the end of June, 2019.

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“Barely Four days to the time agreed by parties for the Security Cover to be delivered, MO without recourse to EEDC went ahead to cause a publication to be placed on their behalf on the aforementioned newspaper announcing suspension of EEDC as a market participant.

“EEDC wishes to state that the publication is a premeditated act of utmost bad faith, calculated to embarrass EEDC and same has indeed embarrassed in the eyes of esteemed customers as EEDC has been inundated with enquiries as to the status of EEDC as a licensee. Again, this act by MO is a breach of EEDC’s right to fair hearing as enshrined in Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

“Consequently, we urge you vacate and retract the said publication as EEDC is making all arrangements to procure and deliver to MO the Security Cover.”

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