The attention of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP or Council) has been drawn to an Interim Order of the Federal High Court dated 8th July, 2022, in respect of a Suit between Vigeo Power Limited vs. Fidelity Bank Plc and 7 Others over the Board composition of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).
Following this unfortunate development, it has become imperative for Council to educate both the staff of BEDC and the public; particularly those within the BEDC franchise area comprising Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti States of the steps taken by the Federal Government regarding the Board composition of the various Electricity Distribution Companies across the country which were concluded on the 5th of July, 2022 and published/aired in the print and electronic media across the country and indeed the globe as follows:
- NTA aired it during its primetime news at 9 pm on July 5, 2022;and
- Channels TV aired it during its primetime news at 10 pm on July 5, 2022.
- It was was also carried as an advertorial on July 6, 2022, by the following papers:
- The Guardian-Page 28;
- Thisady-Page 17;
- The Punch-Page 25; and
- Daily Trust-Page 27.
- Similarly, it was published as news in the following newspapers and online platforms:
- The Nation-FP/4;
- Vanguard-Page 25;
Therefore, the National Council on Privatisation wishes to state that the Board composition of both BEDC and the other four (4) DisCos was concluded on the 5th July, 2022, three (3) days before the purported Court Order.
For the avoidance of doubt, the National Council on Privatisation wishes to put the records straight as follows:
- Fidelity Bank informed Council, vide its Secretariat, the Bureau of Public Enterprises, that they have activated the call on the collateralised shares of Vigeo Power Limited in BEDC.
- Fidelity Bank’s action is a contractual and commercial intervention between the Core Investor (Vigeo Power Limited) and the lender. BPE is involved because of the 40% shareholding of the Government in the BEDC.
- Federal Government, in order to safeguard the industry and also support the Market Stabilization through restructuring and repositioning to serve the citizens of the franchise area better, decided to appoint a new Board for BEDC comprising the following:
- KC Akuma (Chairman),
- Adeola Ijose (Member),
- Charles Omoera (Member),
- Yomi Adeyemi (Member),
- DG (BPE) (Member), and
- Henry Ajagbawa (Managing Director).
- Government will work to ensure no service disruptions during these transitions. We remain committed to supporting the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry to serve Nigerians better.
The General public is therefore advised to be so appropriately guided.
Alex A. Okoh
July 13, 2022.