On Wednesday, August 31,2016, the federal government confirmed Joseph Chiedu Ugbo as substantive Managing Director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), a special purpose vehicle funded by the three tiers of Nigeria’s government to fast-track power generation and delivery in the country.

Through a circular from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ugbo, who acted in that capacity for close to two months after the government relieved NDPHC’s pioneer head, James Olotu, was asked to lead NDPHC into its next phase – a make or mar phase as it appears. For Ugbo and his team, sector analysts believe that their job is simple – to get the NDPHC profitable in terms of project management.

According to the circular, Ugbo, a legal practitioner was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1991. He is a specialist in infrastructure regulations with a robust experience in electricity industry reform and privatization. He also holds Bachelor and Master of Law Degrees from the University of Lagos. For over 15 years, the circular said he provided legal advisory services to public sector power entities including legal support to the defunct National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) which metamorphosed into the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), and to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) during the privatization of the successor company PHCN.

Alongside him, the government also approved the appointment of two executive directors for the company. They are Babayo Shehu, who will be the Executive Director Finance and Administration and Ife Oyedele, as the Executive Director Engineering and Technical Services. Like Ugbo, both candidates have enviable qualifications. Shehu has a First Class Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.
Accordingly, he began his working career with the Bauchi State Development Board in 1981, and has worked in the country’s banking sector from 1987 to 2003 before he joined the federal public service in 2003. Oyedele on the other hand graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Lagos in 1982, and has been a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and Institute of Directors.

The new team at NDPHC has the Herculean task of repositioning the NDPHC to profitably play out the role for which it was set up in Nigeria’s power sector.

Ogie Omelegie
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