Patrick Kelechi


DAILY COURIER – The federal government has insisted on the new Boards of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and others, recently affected by last week’s decision to set up new Boards for them.

The other Discos whose boards were equally reconstituted were those of Kano, Kaduna, Ibadan and Port Harcourt.

BEDC had on July 8, 2022, obtained an Interim Order of the Federal High Court in an attempt to halt the board’s reconstitution process.

However, the Director-General (D-G) of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Mr. Alex Okoh, explained in a statement, yesterday, that the order was obtained after the new boards had been reconstituted on July 5, 2022.

“Following this unfortunate development, it has become imperative for Council (National Council on Privatisation) 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.

“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.”

Mr. Okoh explained further, “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.”

The D-G said that the federal government would work to ensure that there were no service disruptions during the transitions period.