Ministry faults reports against FG on AEDC Board’s suspension, says NERC, BPE consented

Solomon Ezeme

 

The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Minister of Power, has defended its action over its recent suspension of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company’s (AEDC’s) Management Board and the subsequent appointment of an interim management.

The Honourable Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, in a statement released by the Ministry on Tuesday, described reports by the print and electronic media on the suspension of the management as being ‘communicated out of context’.

Part of the statement reads: “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Power has been drawn to publications in the print and electronic media relating to recent changes in the ownership structure and management at the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Plc (“AEDC”).

“While noting that the news have largely been communicated out of context, the Ministry wishes to notify all stakeholders that the AEDC has, of recent, been facing significant operational challenges arising from a dispute between the core investors (KANN consortium) as owners of 60% equity in AEDC and the UBA as lenders for the acquisition for the majority shareholding in the public utility.”

Engr. Aliyu stated that the delay in resolving the ownership tussle between both parties warranted the intervention of the Federal Government as it sought to protect the interest of Nigerians and the affected workers of the DisCo.

“The situation has currently deteriorated due to lack of access to intervention leading to a point whereby legitimate entitlements of the staff are being owed thus leading to service disruptions on 6th December 2021 within its franchise area.

“The Federal Ministry of Power has since taken the initiative to engage organised labour and electricity service has since been restored in the FCT and the states served by AEDC,” he said.

He also disclosed that the Management of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) has taken over the shares of KANN consortium as the latter is yet to fulfil the agreement signed by both parties,in obtaining the said loan.

He explained that both NERC and BPE have given their approval to the decision taken by the Government.

“The UBA, as a lender, and in exercising its rights over the shares of KANN Consortium in AEDC, has taken over the shares of the obligor in the AEDC.

“This takeover of the majority stake in AEDC by UBA has consequently led to the reported changes in the management of AEDC.

“The changes in shareholding in AEDC and the appointment of an interim management for AEDC by the shareholders has been endorsed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (the industry regulator) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (“BPE” as co-shareholders in AEDC),” he said.

The Ministry pledged to keep partnering with stakeholders, to ensure the new interim Management is able to deliver its service obligations to electricity consumers under the AEDC network.

“The Honourable Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, wishes to reaffirm the commitment of the Federal Ministry of Power for working with all stakeholders to ensure service continuity in all areas served by the AEDC,” the statement reads.

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