Respite seems on the way for the embattled electricity consumers in the nation’s capital, Abuja, following the acquisition of electricity distribution company, (AEDC) by a consortium led by Transcorp Group, Africa’s leading diversified conglomerate, of the 60% stake in the utility following inability of its major stakeholder, Kann Consotium, to service its debt, running into millions of dollars to its creditors.
Nigerian billionaire and philanthropist, Tony Elumelu chairman of Heirs Holdings is also the chairman of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria.
In line with Transcorp’s record of transformation across businesses and in a strategic move, that further consolidates the studied Company’s position within the Nigerian power sector, Christopher Ezeafulukwe, the Managing Director/CEO of Transcorp Power Limited, has been appointed by the Board of AEDC as the new Managing Director/CEO.
The acquisition and subsequent deliberate appointments of capable and tested hands into AEDC and sister company, Transcorp Power has engendered confidence in the sector as consumers, particularly, those under their coverage are looking forward to quality service for which the conglomerate under the chairmanship of Elumelu are noted for.
Transcorp Group’s market capitalization is in excess of N540bn.
Ezeafulukwe has since assumed the leadership position at the troubled utility. He was also an Executive Director of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, where he was responsible for Business Development and Legal.
With over 19 years of experience working as an executive-level professional, Christopher has extensive experience in business development and management, legal, transaction advisory and support services, as well as company secretarial and related practices.
Peter Ikenga, current CEO of Transcorp Energy,the Group’s oil and gas subsidiary, leading its upstream and petroleum development strategy, succeeds Ezeafulukwe as MD of Transcorp Power.
Ikenga has been instrumental in delivering aspects of Transcorp’s integrated energy strategy, focused on creating Nigeria’s largest domestic power player and ensuring the country’s natural resources deliver robust power supply for the Nigerian economy and consumers. He is value-driven and result-oriented professional.
Industry analysts say the strategic appointments will improve service delivery, customer satisfaction and the consequent economic growth and development.
Ten years after privatisation, the consumers have not been able to enjoy the benefits of the exercise even as government continues in one way or the other with subsidy payments on electricity to the tune of billions of naira, while consumers continued to pay for darkness.
Industry analysts say further that over half of the 11 distribution companies, (DisCos) are believed to be distressed.
Specifically, the ownership and management structure of at least six indebted companies (DisCos), including AEDC have either changed or in the process, as a stress test revealed that only three DisCos were viable.
Consequently, in May, Transcorp acquired AEDC after securing government approval and since then, strategic decisions have been taken.
In May 2023, the National Council on Privatisation approved the Transcorp-led Consortium, as the new strategic investor in Abuja utility company. The news was received with great excitement by investors and the market, considering Transcorp Group’s track record in value creation, transparency, business transformation, and sound corporate governance practices.
Indeed, prior to his appointment as the CEO of AEDC, Ezeafulukwe was the chief executive of Transcorp Power Ltd, Ughelli, a 972-MW thermal plant.
Under his leadership, Transcorp Power Ltd has consistently led the Nigerian power sector, being the first successor power company from the 2013 power privatization program, to be discharged from post-privatisation monitoring by the National Council on Privatization, having surpassed the expectations of the Council.
The Ughelli Power plant, which Transcorp Group acquired during the privatisation of the power sector in 2013, demonstrates the Group’s transformative prowess.
The plant’s available capacity, which stood at 160MW on acquisition, increased by 227% to 680.83MW in 4 years, surpassing the Bureau of Public Enterprise’s (BPE) five-year target of 670MW.
With Ezeafulukwe’s proven capabilities and extensive experience, analysts say he will play a pivotal role in rejuvenating AEDC, the supplier of power to the nation’s capital and save the country of the national embarrassment.
Transcorp Group’s commitment to improving lives and transforming societies remains resolute. The Group’s subsidiaries, include Transafam Power Limited and Transcorp Hotels Plc, owners of Transcorp Hilton Abuja, have demonstrated continued value creation and a dedication to creating both economic and social wealth.
With a combined market capitalization exceeding N540 billion, the Group continues to demonstrate the Africapitalism philosophy of its Group Chair – Elumelu.