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Tinubu’s Government Orders Sale Of IBEDC, 4 Other Discos Within 90 Days

Worried by the poor performance of the embattled electricity distribution companies, (DisCos), the federal government has ordered the resale of those ones now under the management of banks and the Asset Management Company (AMCON) within 90 days to reputable power operators.

The order was given by the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, when the Senate Committee on Power came for an oversight visit to the ministry in Abuja at the weekend.

Adelabu said very soon tough decisions would be taken on the DisCos, saying they are the last lap of the sector.

Nigerian government in conjunction with Fidelity Bank and AMCON in a move to save the companies from insolvency, among other reasons, in 2022 took over the affairs of Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO), Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Kaduna Electric, and Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED).

According to the Minister, the decision became necessary due to their continued poor performance, which he said was a setback to the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

He said the ministry will prevail on the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to revoke underperforming licenses and also change the management board of the DisCos if it becomes the solution.

He said, “Lastly, on distribution. Very soon you will see that tough decisions will be taken on the DisCos. They are the last lap of the sector. If they don’t perform, the entire sector is not performing.

“The entire ministry is not performing. We have put pressure on NERC, which is their regulator to make sure they raise the bar on regulation activities. If they have to withdraw licenses for non-performance, why not? If they have to change the board of management, why not?

“And all the DisCos that are still under AMCON and Banks, within the next three months, they must be sold to technical power operators with good reputations in utility management.

“We can no longer afford AMCON to run our DisCos. We can no longer afford the banks to run our DisCos. This is a technical industry and it must be run by technical experts.”

Speaking further, Adelabu disclosed that efforts were ongoing to bridge the nation’s metering gap in the next four to five years.

He disclosed that the Federal Government has mobilized a company named Messr Zigglass with $ 200 million to supply three million meters that were yet to be supplied to date.

“If you held N32billion for these years, where is the interest”

According to to him, President Ahmed Tinubu has directed that the contract be revoked, adding that the funding is coming from a seed capital of N100billion and N75billion.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the committee was on an oversight function and familiarisation tour to the Federal Ministry of Power in Abuja.

Commenting on the issue of the new Band A tariff increase, Abaribe said the Senate had summoned the minister of power, Adebayo Adelabu, and the top echelon of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to appear before it for an investigative hearing on the recent electricity tariff hike in the country.

“The Senate has already authorised an investigative hearing scheduled for the 29th of April, 2024. The major agencies of government will answer questions.

“We have summoned the NERC. We will give them an opportunity to speak about the electricity tariff hike. The minister of power is, of course, expected to appear too.”

Abaribe, who was in company of many senators in the committee, including Senator Dajuma Goje (Gombe Central), Simon Lalong (APC, Plateau South), Osita Izunaso (Imo West), among others, expressed worry over the poor power situation in the country, saying the time to act is now.”

metrobusinessnews/ a strategic cross-reporting initiative.

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