FG To Sell Abuja, Ibadan, Benin, Kaduna, Kano DisCos..Revokes $200m Merering Contract


The Federal Government yesterday vowed to sell off the five electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) as blackout persists.

A $200m non-performing metering contract awarded since 2021 has been revoked by the Federal Government.

Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu said banks and the Asset Management Company (AMCON), which have been managing these DisCos, having taken over because of the failure of the management to repay loans, lack the technical capacity.

The sale to reputable technical power operators is expected to be completed within three months, he added.

Those affected are Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) under the management of the United Bank of Africa (UBA), Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company and Kano Electricity Distribution Company manage by Fidelity Bank, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IEDC) is under the AMCON management.

Investors hold 60 per cent of shares in the DisCos. The Federal Government holds the remaining 40 per cent.

Blackout has persisted in most states with DisCos blaming low allocation from the national grid and gas shortages to generating companies (GenCos) as the causes, among others.

Consumers are lamenting that the epileptic power situation has worsened since January.

Adelabu spoke while hosting the Senate Committee on Power at his office in Abuja.

He said that the energy distribution assets are technical and should be managed by experts.

He informed the committee that tough decisions on the DisCos have become necessary because the entire Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) fails when they refuse to perform.

According to him, the ministry will prevail on the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to revoke underperforming licenses and change the management board of the DisCos if necessary.

Adelabu said: “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.”

The minister also noted that it has become necessary to reorganise the DisCos for efficiency.

He stressed that Ibadan DisCo is too large for one company to manage.

Responding to the decision to resell the DisCos, a member of the committee, Senator Isah Jibrin, alleged that some of the operators have stripped the assets of the DisCos they took over in 2013.

He insisted that the operators of any revoked DisCo must be compelled to fix the assets as they were prior to handover.

Adelabu said the Federal Government mobilised a company named Messr Zigglass with $200 million (N32 billion) to supply three million meters, but that the firm is yet to deliver.

“If you held N32 billion for these years, where is the interest?” he asked.

According to him, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has directed that the contract be revoked.

He said the government will bridge the current eight million metering gap in the next four to five years.

The minister noted that the funding is coming from a seed capital of N100billion and N75billion.

He added that the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is coming to the aid of the ministry with the fund.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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