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NGX Group appoints new GMD, CEO

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The Nigerian Exchange Group has announced new appointments in its ranks.

This was made known by the Group Company Secretary, Obehi Ikhaghe, on Friday.

According to the statement, Temi Popoola is appointed as the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer-designate of the group ahead of the retirement of the current GMD, Oscar Onyema, next year.

Also, the Executive Director, Capital Market of the exchange, Jude Chiemeka, has been appointed Acting CEO of Nigerian Exchange Limited.

The statement partly read: “Further to the receipt of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s No-Objection to the announcement of the appointment, Nigerian Exchange Group Plc is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Temi Popoola as GMD/CEO designate effective 1 January 2024 subject to SEC’s formal approval of the appointment.

“Mr. Jude Chiemeka has also been appointed as the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Exchange Limited effective 1 January 2024.”

It was revealed that Onyema will complete his tenure on March 31, 2024, and ahead of this, he will embark on his terminal leave on January 1, 2024.

Commenting on the appointments, the Chairman of NGX Group, Umaru Kwairanga, said, “I’m delighted to announce these pivotal changes in the leadership of NGX Group which is a testament to effective succession planning. I would like to express my profound gratitude to Mr. Onyema for his stellar leadership first as the CEO of The Nigerian Stock Exchange from 2011 – 2021 and thereafter as the GMD/CEO of NGX Group Plc from 2021 -2024.

“Mr. Onyema led the stabilisation, growth, demutualisation and restructuring of The Nigerian Stock Exchange to NGX Group Plc, a public company limited by shares, which is a significant milestone in the organisation’s history. He also led the listing of the Company on the main board of NGX.

“I have no doubt in Mr. Popoola’s capability to successfully continue the legacy Mr. Onyema has created, and take NGX Group to greater heights. I also firmly believe in Mr. Chiemeka’s ability to seamlessly assume leadership at NGX from Mr. Popoola, building upon his impressive achievements and fostering continued growth in the capital market.”

The GMD/CEO, Oscar Onyema, in his comments, said, “I’m deeply appreciative of the privilege to have led The Nigerian Stock Exchange as its CEO and later, Nigerian Exchange Group Plc as its GMD/CEO. I extend my best wishes to Mr. Popoola and have full confidence in his capabilities to continue the legacy and growth of NGX Group. I am grateful for the support and dedication of the entire team at NGX Group and capital market stakeholders throughout my tenure. Together, we drove significant development in the African capital markets, and I am proud of the various accomplishments we have achieved since 2011.

“As I step into a new phase, I am committed to ensuring a smooth transition and look forward to witnessing the continued growth and prosperity of NGX Group under Mr. Popoola’s leadership. The future is indeed promising.”

On his part, Popoola said, “I step into this new role at NGX Group Plc with a deep sense of responsibility and enthusiasm. I extend my appreciation to Mr. Onyema, for his exceptional leadership during his tenure and to the Board of Directors for the confidence reposed in me.

“The modernisation of the Nigerian market infrastructure space and the demutualisation and restructuring of NSE under Mr. Onyema’s guidance have been instrumental in shaping NGX Group, and I’m honored to continue this legacy. I am fully committed to building on the foundation laid out and taking NGX Group to greater heights. With the support of the dedicated team and in collaboration with the esteemed leadership, I’m optimistic about the exciting opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

“I am also very confident in Mr. Chiemeka’s ability to successfully steer the helm of affairs at NGX and propel NGX to greater heights.”

Popoola joined NGX in 2021 as CEO of Renaissance Capital (Rencap) where he was the Managing Director and CEO for West Africa.

He graduated with a first-class degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lagos and holds a Masters degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Chartered Stockbroker.

Also, Chiemeka who is currently the Executive Director of Capital Markets responsible for Trading, Products Development and Listings at NGX, has almost 30 years experience in Securities Trading and Asset Management across markets in Africa.

Before joining NGX, he was the MD/CEO of United Capital Securities, a subsidiary of United Capital Plc listed on NGX.

He is a Fellow and Council Member of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, a Member of the Institute of Directors, a Fellow of the Association of Investment Advisers and Portfolio Managers and an Associate of the Certified Pension Institute of Nigeria. He is also an alumnus of the University of Lagos, Lagos Business School and the University of Oxford, UK.

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NERC transfers regulatory oversight of Enugu Electricity Market to EERC

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Following the Enugu State Electricity Law signed by Governor Peter Mbah and the recent constitution of the Enugu State Electricity Regulatory Commission, ESERC, by the Mbah administration, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has formerly transferred the regulatory oversight of the Enugu State electricity market to the state agency effective May 1, 2024.

This is the first time NERC would be ceding such regulatory authority to any state electricity regulatory agency.

The transfer was made known by NERC on Monday in an April 22, 2024 Order No. NERC/2024/039 signed by the Commission’s Chairman, Sanusi Garba, and the Commissioner for Legal, Licensing, and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye.

The transfer is sequel to the amendments of the Paragraph 14 (b) of the Second Schedule to the 1999 Constitution by the 9th National Assembly in 2023 as well as the Electricity Electricity Act 2023, both of which effectively devolved power generation, transmission, and distribution from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List and also empowered the states to manage and regulate their electricity markets within their jurisdictions.

It is recalled that the Mbah administration initiated the Enugu State Electricity Bill 2023, which the governor signed into Law in September the same year and also set the pace in March 2024 constituted the Enugu State Electricity Regulatory Commission (ESERC) led by Chijioke Okonkwo as the Chairman/CEO.

The Electricity Act 2023 provides that within 45 days of receiving formal notification of the enactment of the law under subsection (1), the Commission (NERC) shall draw and deliver to the State Regulator a draft order setting out a plan and timeline for the transition of regulatory responsibilities from the Commission to the State Regulator, which transition shall be completed not later than 6 months from the date on which the formal notification in subsection (1) was delivered to the Commission.

Explaining further, NERC said the ESERC now holds the exclusive power to set and adopt end-user electricity tariffs within Enugu State, tailoring these charges to local conditions and requirements.

Also, while ESERC manages local tariff methodologies, any electricity sourced from grid-connected plants and the related tariffs for generation and transmission services must still receive approval from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), ensuring alignment with national energy policies.

Furthermore, the final tariffs approved by ESERC for consumers in Enugu State will be definitive for the state, with the Enugu State Government responsible for supporting and implementing tariff-related policies, ensuring that electricity pricing is both fair and attuned to the specific needs of the state’s residents.

Consequently, NERC ordered that: “Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC, EEDC, is hereby directed to incorporate a subsidiary EEDC SubCo under the Companies and Allied Matters Act for the assumption of responsibilities for intrastate supply and distribution of electricity in Enugu State from EEDC.

“EEDC shall complete the incorporation of EEDC SubCo within 60 days from the effective date of this Order and, EEDC SubCo shall apply for and obtain a licence for the intrastate supply and distribution of electricity from EERC.

“EEDC shall identify the actual geographic boundaries of Enugu State and carve out its network in Enugu State as a standalone network with the installation of boundary meters at all border points where the network crosses from Enugu State into another state.

“EEDC shall create an Asset Register of all its power infrastructure located within Enugu State.

“Evaluate and apportion contractual obligations and liabilities attributable to EEDC’s operations of its subsidiary in Enugu State.

“Identify all the applicable trading points for energy o take for the operations of EEDC SubCo in Enugu State

“Confirm the number of employees that are required to provide service to Enugu State as a standalone public utility; and transfer the identified assets for operations in Enugu State, contractual obligations, liabilities and employees to EEDC Subco.”

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Eko Disco: WPG sacks Tinuade Sanda

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West Power & Gas Limited, WPG, the majority shareholder of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC, has terminated the appointment of the former managing director of the Disco, Tinuade Sanda.

WPG disclosed this in a recent letter signed by the chairman of WPG, Charles Momoh.

The letter noted that Sanda was no longer an employee of the company on April 17, 2024.

“We refer to your contract of employment dated April 1, 2022, signed between you and WPG Limited. At this moment, we advise you that your service is no longer required, and accordingly, your employment with WPG Ltd is hereby terminated effective April 17, 2021, by clause 10.2 of the Contract. “WPG is obligated to pay you three months’ salary instead of notice and advises that the due amounts have been credited to your account. You are requested to kindly return all the Company’s properties (whether WPG or EKEDP ) in your possession, including but not limited to laptops, identity cards, and status cars upon receipt of this letter.”

The Development comes amid controversy surrounding Sanda’s removal by EKEDC.

Sanda was earlier seconded to the Disco and had returned to WPG when she was removed as EKEDC MD. Mrs. Rekhiat Momoh was appointed as Sanda’s replacement.

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NAPTIP reunites 2 Gombe kidnapped children with families

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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Monday, reunited two kidnapped children with their parents in Gombe State.

Mr Aminu Shira, the NAPTIP Commander in the state, who stated this in Gombe, listed the children as Usman Kabiru, 11 and Aisha Shehu, four-month-old.

He said that Kabiru and Shehu were rescued in Lagos and Abuja, respectively, and handed over to the agency by the Gombe State Police Command.

Shira said the agency would ensure that the children receive proper care from their families.

He also said the Police Command on Jan. 16, handed over nine suspects and five victims of child trafficking to the agency in the state.

The NAPTIP official said that cases of child trafficking, sale of babies and sexual exploitation were instituted against the suspects currently undergoing prosecution.

Shira, however, said the victims were undergoing rehabilitation and skills acquisition training at the agency.

“Three victims were empowered by the command for full rehabilitation and re-integration into the society.

“Two female victims had been enrolled into skills acquisition training (tailoring) for six months here in Gombe.

“The agency sponsored all financial bills for the training and monthly allowance for the victims during the period of the training.

“One male victim has enrolled into Sheikh Jafar Memorial Primary School Arawa, Gombe, to continue of his education sponsored by NAPTIP,” Shira said.

He urged residents of the state to report suspected human traffickers to the agency, adding that: “NAPTIP will always remain committed towards the prevention of all forms of exploitation against women and children and liberating the vulnerable in the communities towards ensuring a safer and better society”.

It would be recalled that the Police Command on Jan. 10, confimed arrest of 16 persons for alleged child trafficking and criminal conspiracy in the Gombe State.

It also rescued three children from the suspects.

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