Kenya Power appoints Bernard Ngugi as CEO
Kenya Power has appointed Bernard Ngugi, an insider to position of chief executive and managing director of the utility firm.
An accountant by profession, Ngugi takes over from acting MD Engineer Jared Othieno having been the immediate head of procurement serving as the General Manager Supply Chain. He also served as the Chief Accountant – Treasury Section.
Expected to steer the troubled utility firm back to better tidings, Ngugi takes the corner office from Othieno who has been acting in interim capacity since the ouster of Ken Tarus last year over allegations of corruption at the utility firm.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) registered firm which is 50.1 per cent owned by the Government is sole retail distributor of power in Kenya has been overwhelmed by scandals and poor management, having issued a profit warning for the financial period ending June 30, 2019, which it attributed to increase in non-fuel costs.
Last year, the company issued a profit warning before posting a 63.7 per cent drop in net profit to Sh1.92 billion due to escalated operational costs.
The board is banking on the insider to put the house in order and among the concerns he will face day one is a storm brewing in the multi-billion-shilling electricity poles business.
A close-knit group of few firms are said to be dominating the supply of the product to Kenya Power.
The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) and Directorate of Criminal Investigations(DCI) are said to have zeroed in on price-fixing, collusive tendering — a process in which firms agree to share out contracts between themselves and/or to fix the price bids — and cartel-like behaviour in the poles business.