FG Orders Resale of DisCos Managed by Banks and AMCON to Reputable Operators  

By Joke Kujenya

THE Federal Government of Nigeria has issued a directive for the resale of electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) currently managed by banks and the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) within three months to reputable power operators.

Currently, five DisCos are under the management of AMCON and bank leaders.

These include Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), managed by the United Bank of Africa (UBA), Benin Electricity Distribution Company, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, and Kano Electricity Distribution Company managed by Fidelity Bank and Afreximbank.

Additionally, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company is under AMCOM’s management.

During an oversight visit to the ministry in Abuja, the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, emphasized the technical nature of energy distribution assets and the necessity for their management by technical experts.

He stated that tough decisions were imperative due to the failure of the entire Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) when DisCos underperform.

Adelabu revealed plans to pressure the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to revoke underperforming licenses and change management boards if necessary.

Adelabu stressed that all DisCos managed by AMCON and bank lenders must be sold to technical power operators with a good reputation in utility management within the next three months, asserting that AMCON or banks cannot continue to manage DisCos, emphasizing the need for technical expertise in the industry.

Furthermore, the minister disclosed the FG’s plan to unbundle DisCos along state lines to improve efficiency, and also revealing mobilization of companies with $200 million to supply three million meters, in the bid to address the current metering gap.

The power sector crisis, described as historical by Adelabu, has defied solutions, with issues attributed to uncompleted projects, as he urged the committee to approve funds for the completion of over 120 projects across the country.

While responding, the Senate Committee on Power, led by Chairman, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, expressed concern over the poor power situation in the country and announced an investigative hearing on the recent electricity tariff hike, as various senators also highlighted the need for urgent action and accountability in addressing challenges facing the power sector.

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