Thursday, December 8, 2022

Conflict of Interest: NTDC Chairman Naveed Ismail clings to two positions


The appointment of incumbent chairman National Power Transmission Company (NTDC) of Pakistan Naveed Ismail as the director of the board of private electricity power distributor K-Electric (the company responsible to manage electricity of metropolitan city Karachi) has raised the concerns after the corporate law experts termed Ismail’s affiliation with K-Electric as a conflict of interest. The issue has opened a new Pandora’s box.

According to corporate law experts, the head of any national institution or its board of directors cannot be affiliated with an institution at the same time that falls into the category of conflict of interest.

The appointment of incumbent chairman NTDC Naveed Ismail as member BoD K Electric is termed a clear violation, says corporate law experts. It is to be mentioned here that both the companies (NTDC and K-Electric) deal with multi-billion dollar power businesses and in affiliation with both the companies, one has to lean towards either.

Corporate law defines many instances in the past in which the heads of civil and national institutions had to resign over violating the conflict of interest.

Tabish Gohar, former chairman of K Electric, had to resign from the post of energy adviser to the prime minister due to a similar issue of CoI.

Naveed Ismail was nominated to the board of K Electric in June 2021, and the mentors behind his nomination as member BoD K-Electric have bypassed the corporate law.

According to reliable sources, the NTDC Board will be responsible for the distribution of investment of Rs 111 billion in the energy project announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The question arises, what would be the level of transparency if the “Thugs” will be given the power to monitor the distribution of huge investments in the power sector.

It is pertinent to mention that in 2013, GENCO holding was blacklisted by the then chairman WAPDA Ragheb Abbas Shah due to non-performance and it was revealed that incumbent chairman NTDC Naveed Ismail was the CEO of GENCO holding.

Naveed Ismail is also the CEO of Lumen Energy, the company that manages ArcelorMittal Steel Mill’s 135 MW power project. Further in-depth research has revealed that ArcelorMittal Steel, which apparently has its head office in Luxembourg, is headed by CEO Aditya Mittal and the executive chairperson Lakshmi Mittal. The revelation would justify the question of patriotic Pakistanis that right under the nose of PM Imran Khan, chairmanship of NTDC was given to the person whose private company is well connected to the Indian key players.

On 22 October 2021, the complaint by a private entity alleging corruption and damage to the national exchequer under Section 9 of the NAB Act 1999 was filed against the board officials of NTDC including the chairman to the NAB chairman and DG.

Sources further revealed that using his powers and bypassing corporate governance rules, Naveed Ismail has appointed Aizaz Ahmed as the managing director with huge monthly perks of US 15000.

All eyes are on the Rs 111 billion investment plan announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan, which is reported to have been monitored by NTDC would let the cat out of the bag.

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