Hours after PREMIUM TIMES reported the looming labour crisis at the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) over alleged recruitment scam and fraudulent allocation of outrageous salaries and perks to a few officials, two top officials suspected to be culpable have been placed on indefinite suspension.
The two officials are the Executive Director, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs, Tolulope Mark-Ojie, and Head, Organisational Development & Learning, Yusuf Mosunmola.
Although the Executive Director, Corporate Planning & Business Development, Omokhoa Okaisabor, told PREMIUM TIMES Ms. Mosunmola was called in to help resolve the human resources issue the company was facing at inception, she was eventually hired as full-time staff.
Mrs. Mosunmola, who is one of the highest paid workers in AEDC, was also a key member of the management of TBS Consulting, a strategic management firm Mrs. Mark-Ojie contracted to handle the recruitment of staff for AEDC.
Both were said to have been issued letters late on Friday and asked to proceed immediately on suspension after they were named in the staff recruitment scandal.
The suspension order, said to be the first step in the gale of sanctions likely to affect several others, sent shock waves across the electricity distribution company, particularly among top officials.
PREMIUM TIMES became aware of the suspension just as the Chairman of the regulatory agency in the electricity sector, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Authority, NERC, Sam Amadi, said an investigation of the AEDC management would be instituted soon.
The Director General of BPE, Benjamin Dikki, who is also a member of the Board of AEDC, representing the Federal Government, had promised earlier to conduct a full-scale investigation into the allegations.
However, the news of the suspension of the two top officials stirred celebrations among many staff at the AEDC headquarters, with some of the staff demanding investigations into the recruitment and pay disparity scandal.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported that while a few of the employees recruited by TBS Consulting for AEDC drew pay cheques as high as N1.9 million monthly, majority of the key staff retained from defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) were receiving between N50,000 to N150,000.
While the highest paid director goes home N36 million a month, and a staff with Ordinary National Diploma, OND, takes a whooping N1.9 million a month, the company’s financial statement by KPMG said operational losses as at December 31, 2014 rose to N25.61billion, from N13.37 billion in 2013.
The huge disparity in the new employees’ pay fuelled discontent among workers, most of whom accused the management of discrimination, fraud and corruption.
PREMIUM TIMES investigations had revealed that AEDC’s payroll included names of persons recruited by TBS Consulting under “special arrangements” guaranteeing about 60 percent of the pay ascribed to them ending up with TBS.