By Etuka Sunday
A South Africa based independent consultancy, EOH Coastal & Environmental Services (CES), has given high ratings to Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) in its diligent treatment of health, safety and environment (HSE) operations, including the company’s management of enterprise risks.
Equally, the auditors, after the conclusion of an audit of the company’s operations between 16th and 20th October, 2017, commended the AEDC’s prudent financial management, which they said was imperative as the power sector in Nigeria strives towards transformation and efficiency.
A press statement issued by AEDC’s Head of Public Relations & Media, Ahmed Shekarau, said the audit was conducted on behalf of CEC Africa and the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), and it focused on the activities, programmes and projects that are being undertaken by the company to manage and address the HSE risks that it could be exposed to as a business.
The statement revealed that, the audit team, comprising two seasoned experts, Dr Kevin Whittington-Jones and Mr Tony Barbour, specifically visited AEDC to verify and report on core HSE related issues such as progress in the implementation of previously agreed HSE actions, the general state of implementation of a sound HSE Management System in the company, its overall compliance with applicable legislation and the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Performance Standards, associated sector-specific guidelines and the relevant International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions, as well as the general level of attractiveness of AEDC to external lending institutions with reference to HSE performance.
In carrying out the audit exercise, according to the statement, the team visited several locations across the FCT, including two newly installed cradle guards, seven distribution substations and eight injection substations, adding that the site visitations were essentially to assess the operational standards and protocols being observed at those facilities.
The statement further disclosed that the team also visited Gishiri Village in Abuja to inspect the Network Sanitization Project initiated by AEDC as a pilot scheme of the company’s programme for cleaning up poorly wired communities in order create an accident-free electricity service atmosphere in its coverage area, which includes FCT, Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger states.
At the conclusion of the exercise, according to the statement, the audit team reported that the AEDC management has demonstrated “full and verifiable commitment by providing the right personnel, systems and a commendable framework for the allocation of material and financial resources for the management of HSE and enterprise risks”, explaining that this “has translated into a significantly improved corporate HSE performance in AEDC”.
The statement said the team also noted that with AEDC’s “satisfactory HSE performance”, the company will be considered compliant with all relevant HSE due diligence requirements of external lending institutions, and thus attractive to such lending institutions.