The Long-Term Challenge is to Build the Pillars for Sustaining Business Continuity

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At a stakeholder’s dinner recently organized by the management of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), the former CBN governor, Professor Charles Soludo, while addressing the participants, assessed the company as “the critical economic game changer for the entire South East and a key infrastructural component for rebuilding the region.” In occupying such a position, he continued, “EEDC has the onerous responsibility in the domain of corporate governance.”

The Chrome Group's subsidiary, Chrome Consortium Energy Nigeria Limited, is part of the Interstate Electrics Limited consortium, which acquired EEDC last year. The consortium also includes Powerhouse International Limited, and Metropolitan Electricity Authority.

Speaking at the dinner, Soludo said that EEDC inherited an operation in an environment where the cost of doing business is astronomically high and the rate of return is very low when compared to other parts of the world. He acknowledged that what the “Southeast needs is something that breaks out of the vicious cycle in which it is locked into.” This, he reminded all, is the context for the business of Enugu Disco.

Under this environment, according to Soludo, EEDC has a challenge of maximizing shareholder’s value in the short and medium term and the contest of building the pillars for sustaining business continuity in the long term. These two he said, although seemingly daunting are mutually reinforcing and are inextricably tied to the growth and transformation of the region. He says if their efforts are successful, the economy of the states in the region goes up and prosperity trickles down to the people of Southeast.

He affirmed that the Southeast was one of the leading economies prior to the discovery of oil, with its abundant export of palm. When oil became the dominant resource for the country, very little attention was given to the local economy, which ultimately led to infrastructural decay, considering the elements of what he described as “push and pull factors.” In his presentation, Professor Soludo further recognized that EEDC inherited an enormous burden in addition to what he termed as a classic business problem; because, as a Disco, they are distributing a product where its generation and transmission is outside their control.

The Chairman of EEDC, Sir Emeka Offor, charged the team to understand that the organization is engaged in serious business. He admonished the team to “always do the right things” and avoid laxity in the discharge of their responsibilities. Sir Emeka concluded by imploring all to join hands together to ensure that EEDC serves the consumers in its business districts conscientiously, making sure that service delivery is satisfactory at all times.

Dr. Edwin Ndukwe wrote via edwin.ndukwe@gmail.com