Vanguard awards

March 19, 2024

Tinuade Sanda: Solving the energy puzzle

Tinuade Sanda: Solving the energy puzzle

Following the privatisation of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, NESI, in 2013, 11 electricity Distribution Companies, DISCOs, emerged. One of them is the Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC, which is currently the largest electricity distribution company in the sub-Saharan African region. 

Of special interest today is the fact that out of the 11 distribution companies, just one is currently managed by a woman. Thus, in an industry dominated by males, Dr Tinuade Toyin Sanda can best be described as an amazon on a mission to prove the axiom that what a man can do, a woman can do better. 

In terms of competence, she can be described as a consummate entrepreneur with experience that traverses academia, finance, oil and gas, energy, trade and diplomacy, hence her choice of the individual to run the leading power distribution and energy firm with interest traversing across other sub-sectors in the electricity value chain can be seen as a square peg in a square hole. 

On leadership skills, Sanda is an accomplished professional and business executive leader in the energy industry with over 22 years of extensive experience in financial management, financial reporting, treasury management and particularly over 14 years experience in various leadership roles. 

This trail brazing amazon holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Financial Management and Entrepreneurship and Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with specialisation in Strategic Planning from Edinburgh Business School, Herriot Watt University, Scotland, UK. 

Her work experience spans a stint in the banking and finance industry, oil and gas as well as the power sector. Thus, she is equipped with the necessary knowledge to strategically transform organisations to attain growth, competitiveness and remarkable outcomes. 

Obviously, Sanda’s educational background and career experience helped shape who she is as a business executive leader, a mentor to young professionals, and a sort-after keynote speaker in major seminars, webinars and capacity-building trainings in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. 

Her career pedigree consists of her time in the banking sector, where she handled different roles such as the relationship manager at Chartered Bank in 2001. In search of bigger challenges, she proceeded to Access Bank in 2003. While serving in Access Bank, she gained extensive experience in branch operations, customer service, cash management and retail credit management. 

Prior to joining EKEDC in 2013, she was the Head of finance and Administration at Vanguard Energy Resources, a leading oil and gas trading services company. 

Sanda holds awards and prestigious memberships of many professional bodies in Nigeria and abroad. She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, the Institute of Management Consultants, the Institute of Credit Management Administration and the Institute of Professional Financial Managers, United Kingdom. She is also an associate member of Risk Management Association of Nigeria and the Institute of Directors, Nigeria. 

She is passionate about empowering young people and takes great pride in mentoring youths to seek creative ways of galvanising their energies for sustained excellence and productivity.

For instance, she has trained young Nigerian experts overseas on the management of key power sector assets. They have returned and are now manning the infrastructure.

Sanda has constantly provided innovative solutions to economic and energy-related challenges in Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world. She also exhibits passion to see Nigeria access energy and power supply uninterruptedly. An advocate of renewable energy, she has been in the forefront of those calling for an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy supply which can only be achieved through the adoption of various energy mix. 

Since assuming office as the MD/CEO of EKEDC, she has achieved remarkable milestones. These achievements include the highest-ever monthly collection of N15b, the lowest-ever ATC&C losses of 15.69 per cent, the successful relaunch of the Meter Asset Provider, MAP, Scheme and the installation of 110 transformers within EKEDC’s network to alleviate overload challenges just to name a few. 

Her achievements also include being the first DISCO to conclude and submit its Audited Financial Statement for the financial year 2022. The act opened up the company’s financial books for public scrutiny at a time when competitors continue to shy away from incorporating ethics of corporate governance. 

Under her management, EKEDC’s prides itself as ‘customer-centric.’ In this regard, her leadership spurred complaint resolution to 99.2 per cent in 2023 despite a 35.8 per cent increase in the number of customer complaints in the year. 

Overwhelmed by the performance, the Nigerian Electricity Industry Regulator, NERC, applauded her achievement with a commendation for being the only DISCO that is currently fully ready for the deployment of the NERC Customer Engagement Platform. 

In the area of empowering employees with the necessary tools to deliver on their duties, the amazon manager at EKEDC has engaged the deployment of a centralised internet service to all EKEDC locations to ensure conducive working conditions. In addition, under her leadership the company deployed a data backup and disaster recovery site to ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster. 

Following the economic reality of the time, Dr Sanda has ensured the company embraced efforts to cushion the effects of the economic downturn on its workers. In this regard, the company engaged in a 25 per cent increase in staff salary across the board to account for Cost of Living Adjustment, COLA. 

The company under her watch had engaged 437 new line workers hired to ease district work, 602 staff hired in total so far. 

There is also the conclusion of 2020 and 2021 performance appraisal process leading to the promotion of 629 staff. 246 individuals also received step increase. While 24 staff had step alignment, 280 received one-off bonus and 60 were placed on PIP. 

These accomplishments highlight her dedication to driving positive change and excellence in the energy sector. 

Sanda is passionate about innovation, collaboration and continuous improvements to drive success and achieve remarkable outcomes.