The Federal Government has inaugurated an inter-agency committee to resolve critical regulatory and operational issues surrounding the smooth transition and hand over of the Aba Ring-Fenced Area to APL/Geometrics which was effected on February 16, 2022,
Inaugurating the Committee on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, in Abuja, Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh noted that after handover, APL/Geometrics in collaboration with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) commenced the transition and handover processes by setting up a joint Transition Committee, however certain issues cropped up.
Okoh listed these as:
- The Asset Transfer Agreement presumed that APL/Geometrics would generate and distribute power, which apparently is not yet the case;
- Power allocation and tariff in the Franchise Area;
- The terms and conditions of EEDC’s vesting Contract with Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) did not envisage APL/Geometrics;
- Service Level Agreement with Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN);
- The provision and requirements of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Loan Agreement and the attendant escrowed control of all EEDC bank accounts;
- The centralised Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure for Metering and Meter Data Bases, Billing and Billing Data Base, Enterprise Resource Planning System and Infrastructure and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System in the Franchise Area;
- EEDC has APL/Geometrics employees who are no longer accountable to EEDC accessing and utilizing their metering/billing ERP and CRM systems; and
- The continued commitment of exited staff of EEDC under the control and management of APL/Geometrics in collecting revenue from postpaid customers for settlement of EEDC invoices from NBET and MO.
The Director General said that to resolve the issues amicably, EEDC in a letter to BPE requested the intervention of concerned government agencies hence the inauguration of the Committee.
While charging members of the Committee to discharge their mandate expeditiously, Okoh said that they were chosen in recognition of their wide experience and knowledge of the subject matter; and expressed confidence that they would carry out the assignment successfully.
The Committee which cuts across critical stakeholders, among them, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Company, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)- the Market Operator, is to conclude its assignment within 60 days. It is chaired by the Director, Energy at the BPE, Mallam Audu Uba Mohammed.
It would be recalled that an agreement was entered into among the Federal Government, National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and Aba Power Ltd (APL) on April 28, 2005. The parties executed a supplemental agreement on August 31, 2006. The area of coverage delineated by NEPA through the lease agreement is referred to as Aba and Ariaria Business Units, to which the initial agreement gave an exclusive right to APL to operate within the area.
During the Privatisation Programme of the Federal Government in 2013, Interstate Electric acquired 60% of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) from the BPE pursuant to a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement dated August 21, 2013 between the BPE and Interstate with several other agreements signed with them.
After the Privatisation Programme, the distribution licence was issued to EEDC over five South Eastern States, which area also included previously, and exclusively licensed Aba Ring-Fenced Area granted to APL, without carving out the existing Aba Electricity Distribution Company (APL) network. On that basis, EEDC became the licensee in respect of the Enugu Distribution Area while APL remained the exclusive licensee of the Aba Ring-Fenced Area, creating a conflict between the two licences.
Ibeh, Uzoma Chidi
Head, Public Communications
April 7, 2022.