New Telegraph

NERC, BPE clear air on ongoing AEDC’s crisis

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) has cleared the air on the recent crisis in the ownership structure of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Plc (AEDC).

The two organisations explained via statements that the news which was largely communicated via print and online platforms, was taken out of context.

According to them, the DisCo has 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.

In another joint statement on Wednesday, Sanusi Garba, NERC Chairman, and Alex Okoh, BPE Director-General, said the decision to fire the management of the AEDC was taken by United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc and approved by the government as the regulator.

“The action to appoint an interim team to manage AEDC was not done on the basis of a directive from the Federal Government as being falsely reported in the press but on the basis of legal processes arising from the failure of the core investor in AEDC to meet its obligations to a lender,” the statement reads.

“The Receiver/Manager has agreed to the appointment of an interim management team in conjunction with BPE as part of measures designed to address business failure events and ensure continuity of service to end-use customers in the service area.”

Speaking on the genesis of the workers’ strike, NERC and BPE said there has been an ongoing dispute amongst competing factions of AEDC’s majority shareholder/core investor KANN Utility Company Limited (KANN).

KANN owns a 60 percent stake in AEDC, while the federal government controls 40 percent shares of the firm.

They said the dispute eventually spilled over to a dispute with UBA Plc, the lender that provided the acquisition loan to KANN for the acquisition of majority shares during the privatisation exercise in 2013, over KANN’s inability to service its debt to the bank.

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