The Federal Government through the Ministry of Power, 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 trio 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.
What the Ministry of Power is saying
It stated, “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Power has been drawn to publications in the print and electronic media relating to recent changes in the ownership structure and management at the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Plc (“AEDC”).
“While noting that the news has largely been communicated out of context, the Ministry wishes to notify all stakeholders that the AEDC has, of recent, 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.
“The situation has currently deteriorated due to lack of access to intervention lending to a point whereby legitimate entitlements of the staff are being owed thus leading to service disruptions on 6th December 2021 within its franchise area. The Federal Ministry of Power has since taken the initiative to engage organised labour and electricity service has since been restored in the FCT and the states served by AEDC.
“The UBA, as a lender, and in exercising its rights over the shares of KANN Consortium in AEDC, has taken over the shares of the obligor in the AEDC. This takeover of the majority stake in AEDC by UBA has consequently led to the reported changes in the management of AEDC.”
“The changes in shareholding in AEDC and the appointment of an interim management for AEDC by the shareholders, according to the ministry of power, has been endorsed by NERC, and BPE.
“The Honourable Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, wishes to reaffirm the commitment of the Federal Ministry of Power for working with all stakeholders to ensure service continuity in all areas served by the AEDC,” it added.
What NERC, BPE are saying about the crisis
They stated, “The action to appoint an interim team to manage the company was not done based on the FG’s directive but on the basis of legal processes arising from the failure of the core investor in AEDC to meet with its obligation to its lender.
“The receiver/manager has agreed to the appointment of an interim management team in conjunction with BPE as part of the measures put in place designed to address business failure events and ensure continuity of service to end use customers in the service area.”
What you should know
- President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the sack of the Management of AEDC following the ongoing strike by the Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) which has kept the Federal Capital Territory and adjoining states in total blackout in the last few days.
- The striking workers are said to be protesting unpaid allowances, salaries and unremitted pension deductions.
- Besides the FCT, other regions affected by the blackout include Nasarawa, Kogi, parts of Edo, Niger and Kaduna States serviced by the AEDC.
- Nairametrics earlier reported that the AEDC apologised to consumers, citing the ongoing strike by its employees as the cause of the blackout.