Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Northern Governors Sack NNDC Board

The Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) has sacked the executive management of its premier investment conglomerate, the New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) with immediate effect.

This was contained in a letter dated July 23, 2018 signed by the Chairman of NSGF and Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima.

NNDC Limited is a owned by the 19 northern states of Nigeria, with interests in agriculture, textile, solid minerals, oil and gas, capital markets, hospitality, mining, telecommunications, among others.

The letter of dismissal of Dr. Ahmed Musa Mohammed-led management, obtained by Daily Trust, was addressed to the chairman of the board of directors of the company, Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu.

Before his confirmation as substantive Group Managing Director of NNDC, Muhammed held the position in an acting capacity from January 2010 to June 2013.

The executive management tenure ended in June this year, after eight years in office, three of which were in an acting capacity.

Other members of the management are executive directors Abbas A. Waziri (corporate planning and business development), Mrs. Kaneng Dokotri Adole (management services directorate), Abdullahi Ali Gombe, (investment supervision directorate), as well as Barrister Barnabas Baba (company secretary/legal adviser).

The board chairman has been pushing for renewal of tenure of the management even though insiders believed it has failed in its mandate of executing the five-year-strategic plan approved by the governors in 2013.

Majority of the NNDC subsidiary companies cannot pay staff salaries, not to talk of staying afloat to pay dividends, insiders said.

In the letter, Shettima told Dalhatu that, “you may kindly recall that during our discussion, you made a strong and persuasive case for the renewal of the executive management’s tenure…. In the meantime, you are once again kindly requested to advise the executive management to vacate their positions immediately as their current tenure has since expired.”  

In 2013, the NNDC raised N1.82 billion from disposing of 19 of its choice properties in Kaduna, and another N4.1 billion from sales of its shares in blue-chip companies like Nestle, Union Bank, among others, to fund the five-year strategic plan.

But five years after, most of the subsidiaries which the NNDC budgeted N2.65 billion for their overhaul are still comatose.

Some of the problems affecting the company, according to insiders, include heavy dependency on revenue from its investments in the capital market, inability to attract and secure loans from local and foreign sources, dearth of staff with relevant skills in the critical operational functions, poorly performing and indebted subsidiaries, inadequate returns on equity and assets, and inadequate capital base for required investments.

The company has a shareholders’ fund of N9,194 billion, which is a drop from the N9,407 billion of 2016, according to its financial statement dated March 31, 2017.

The 19 states are represented on the company’s board by their secretaries to state governments. The conglomerate has 10 subsidiary companies, 33 associates companies, interests in 25 quoted companies, according to information posted on its official website.  

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