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TCN: Mohammed’s appointment ploy to cede agency to AfDB—Aggrieved unions

Twist is still emerging from the recent appointment of a former staff of African Development Bank (AfDB), Mallam Usman Gur Mohammed to serve as interim boss of the transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

Unions in the sector have alleged that the appointment of Mohammed as interim managing director of the company was a condition for the $174 million loan facility the company has been expecting to get from the AfDB.

Already, TCN staff, under the aegis of Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees, NUEEE, and Senior Staff Association Electricity Employees, SSAEE, who made the accusation, insisted that AfDB would not take control of TCN simply because it was about to grant loans to the TCN.

Whereas the workers are threatening to shutdown transmission network, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola however told the National Assembly that the appointment of Mohammed as interim managing director of the company was not a condition for the $174 million loan facility the company expected to get from the AfDB.

Besides, the Chairman, FCT Council of NUEE, Mr Wilson Nwachukwu and Deputy General Secretary of SSAEE, Mr Nnamdi Ajibo, warned of possible shut down of entire transmission network, if nothing was done to arrest the situation by way of removing the new appointee.

But whereas workers are on rampage, embattled Mohammed has jumpstarted his leadership at TCN by placed temporary suspensions on payments, award of contracts and issuance of Local Purchase Orders, LPOs, in the company.

This was contained in an internal memo dated February 3, 2017, which said “Sequel to my assumption of duty on appointment as Transitional Chief Executive Officer of TCN, and in view of effecting controls on our payment systems, repositioning the organisation for greater transparency and improved efficiency, you are hereby directed to suspend all payments in all TCN related accounts with immediate effect.

“This comprises all payments of capital projects through GIFMIS account, REMITA payment platform, via Treasury Single Account, TSA, with CBN and payment via CBN foreign transaction accounts in HQ, except operational activities which must have the approval of the Transitional Chief Executive Officer, TCN.”

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