The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has named members of the interim management team for the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) Plc.
- Bada Akinwumi- Interim Managing Director
- Sani Usman- Interim Chief Business Officer
- Babajide Ibironke- Interim Chief Finance Officer
- Donald Etim- Interim Chief Marketing Officer; and
- Femi Zachaeus- Interim Chief Technical Officer.
Already, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), the regulator in the power sector has approved the appointment of the interim management team for the power company.
Chairman of NERC, Sanusi Garba in approving the appointment of the new interim management for the AEDC said it is “pursuant to the earlier fit and proper review of your (BPE’s) pool of nominees and in the context of Business continuity frame work of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI)”.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) had sacked the former management team of the AEDC and approved the appointment of an interim team to manage the power distribution company on the basis of legal processes arising from the failure of the core investor to meet its obligations to a lender.
NERC and BPE in a joint statement on Wednesday, signed by Sanusi Garba and Alex Okoh, Chairman and Director General respectively, stated that there has been an ongoing dispute amongst competing factions of AEDC’s majority shareholder/core investor i.e. KANN Utility Company Limited (KANN); and the dispute eventually spilled over with the lender that provided the acquisition loan to KANN for the acquisition of majority shares during the privatisation exercise in 2013, over KANN’s inability to service its debt to the bank.
The United Bank for Africa (UBA) had acted as Mandated Lead Arranger, underwriting the entire facility of $122million, about N20 billion then for Kann Utilities acquisition of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company.
“During the course of the intractable crisis, AEDC not only struggled to meet its obligations to the market under the terms and conditions of its licence but was also unable to meet its obligations to key stakeholders in the organisation including staff culminating in the industrial action by members of the Nigerian Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE). Eventually, this resulted in a total service disruption on 6th December 2021 for over 14 hours in AEDC’s network area. The provision of electricity supply in AEDC’s network area was only restored after the intervention of the Minister of Power, NERC and BPE following an agreement with the union on the terms for the suspension of the industrial action on 6th of December 2021.
“The public should note that arising from KANN’s inability to service its acquisition loan and the ensuing dispute over the servicing of the loan from U BA Pie, the lender exercised its rights by appointing a Receiver/Manager over KANN. Stakeholders including NERC, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and BPE had on several times worked to broker an amicable resolution between the contending parties. The protracted resolution of the dispute exacerbated the state of affairs at AEDC resulting in an industrial action and a total blackout in the service area for over 14 hours.
“It then became apparent that decisive steps were required to address the matter and BPE agreed with the lender’s request to exercise its powers as Receiver/Manager over KANN by exercising its powers over the 60% equity in AEDC as a means to recovering the acquisition loan granted by the Bank.
“The action to appoint an interim team to manage AEDC was not done on the basis of a directive from the Federal Government as being falsely reported in the press but on the basis of legal processes arising from the failure of the core investor in AEDC to meet its obligations to a lender. “The Receiver/Manager has agreed to the appointment of an interim management team in conjunction with BPE as part of measures designed to address business failure events and ensure continuity of service to end-use customers in the service area.
Amina Tukur Othman
Head, Public Communications
December 9, 2021.