New Telegraph

February 25, 2024

DisCos: BPE justifies interventions over performances

The Bureau of Public Enterprises ( BPE) has justified its intervention last Tuesday in Ibadan, Kano, Benin and Kano Power Distribution Companies ( DisCos), saying that the decision was based on their abysmal performances . The privatisation agency, in a statement issued on Friday by the Director General, Mr Alex Okoh categorically declared that, “the poor performance of these Discos represents a clear and present threat to the power sector as a whole, noting that no responsible government and shareholder, would stand idly by and allow such situation to persist. BPE also affirmed that majority interest in these DisCos would be sold to competent private sector investors with the requisite technical and financial capacity to re-capitalize and manage these entities efficiently.

The BPE described Ibadan Disco as the worst in the country, interim Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) were appointed for Kano, Benin and Kaduna Discos. In what seemed like performance scorecard of the affected Discos, the BPE boss described the attitude of some core investors in Discos as quite disingenuous. “Beyond the financial issues I have just discussed, the DisCos affected happen to be the worst performing ones. Ibadan is currently being managed by a socalled Receiver Manager as a sole administration. The Receiver Manager has absolutely no capacity to manage a utility and has not been authorised by the Regulator as a manager of a DisCos.

“Ibadan is the worst performing DisCo as per the Performance Assessment review conducted in December 2021. Ibadan DisCo has actually retrogressed in terms of their critical performance parameters as contracted in the Performance Agreement signed with the Bureau. In fact, the DisCo, under the management of the Core Investor, Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited (IEDM), has performed worse than before it was privatized,” he said. Similarly, Okoh described the performance of Benin, Port Harcourt, Kano and Kaduna DisCos as abysmal. However, he said that the government is fully committed to ensuring optimal performance in the power sector and will not shy away from taking the necessary decisive action to achieve the objective. Last Tuesday, BPE announced the restructuring of some DisCos, which include Kano, Benin, Kaduna, Ibadan and Port – Harcourt.

The agency in a joint statement with National Electricity Regulatory Commission ( NERC) noted that the BPE & NERC had been informed by Fidelity Bank of activating the call on the collateralized shares of Kano, Benin and Kaduna (Fidelity and AFREXIM) and that they had initiated action to take over the boards of these DisCos and exercise the rights on the shares.

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