March 2, 2024

FG insists on take-over, says Boards of 5 DisCos already constituted before Court’s interim order  

Oredola Adeola

The Federal Government has revealed that the decision to restructure the Boards of Kano, Benin and Kaduna DISCOs, has taken effect and remained sacrosanct despite  the interim order of the Federal High Court dated July 8, which was obtained by Vigeo Power Limited.

Mr Alex Okoh, Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), made this known in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to him, the decision of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) on  the composition of the Boards of Benin Electricity Distribution Company(BEDC) and the other four DISCOs was concluded as of July 5, 2022, three days before the purported court order.

EnergyDay had on July 5 published a report by BPE and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC) announcing their decision to restructure the boards of Kano, Benin and Kaduna DISCOs.

That decision was taken after the collateralised shares of the  DISCOs by the lenders which included Afreximbank, Keystone Bank, Stanbic IBTC, as well as Fidelity Bank for their failure to offset their loan used to purchase the companies after the privatisation of the power sector.

The BPE Boss said “The attention of the NCP had been drawn to an Interim Order of the Federal High Court dated July 8.

He said this was in respect of a suit between Vigeo Power Limited and Fidelity Bank Plc and seven others over the board composition of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).

“Following this unfortunate development, it has become imperative for the council to educate the staff of BEDC and the public, particularly those within the BEDC franchise area comprising Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states.

He said Government’s steps were published and aired in the print and electronic media across the country and indeed the globe.

“Therefore, the NCP wishes to state that the board composition of both BEDC and the other four DISCOs was concluded July 5, three days before the purported court order.”

The director-general said for the avoidance of doubt, the council wished to put the records straight as follows.

“Fidelity Bank informed the council, via its secretariat, the BPE, that they have activated the call on the collateralised shares of Vigeo Power Limited in BEDC.

” Fidelity Bank’s action is a contractual and commercial intervention between the core investor (Vigeo Power Limited) and the lender.

“BPE is involved because of the 40 per cent shareholding of the government in the BEDC.”

Okoh added that the Federal Government decided to appoint a new board of BEDC to safeguard the industry and support market stabilisation through restructuring and repositioning.

He said that this would help to serve the citizens of the franchise area better.

Okoh said the new board for BEDC had KC Akuma as Chairman, Adeola Ijose, Charles Omoera, Yomi Adeyemi, director-general, BPE as members, and Henry Ajagbawa as Managing Director.

He said that the government would work to ensure no service disruptions during these transitions.

“We remain committed to supporting the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry to serve Nigerians better.

“The General public is therefore advised to be appropriately guided.