The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) is monitoring the events at the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and is aware that the Interim Board recognized by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)and the Bureau has retaken operational control of the Headquarters in Benin with the support of authorities. The Interim Board already had financial control of the entity and the usage of non-state actors by the former Board and Managing Director to forcefully disrupt the affairs of the entity was unfortunate. The actions if left unchecked risked plunging the citizens of Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo (under the BEDC franchise) into darkness.
It may be recalled that Vigeo Holding having defaulted on their loan facilities and having collateralized their controlling shares had lost ownership in the entity. Restructuring action had been announced on July 5th, 2022 by BPE and NERC for the Kano, Kaduna, Benin and Ibadan DiSCO franchises with Fidelity Bank stepping in to the Board and the appointment of an interim Management by BPE and NERC to stabilize the entities and avert any operational issues arising. The entities are to be transitioned from the Banks control to more financially and technically competent private investors under a structured process being monitored by the National Council on Privitisation (NCP) (via the Bureau) and the Central Bank of Nigeria. While the restructuring action in Kano, Kaduna and Ibadan took place without issue, the Benin DiSCO restructuring had faced disruptions by the investors that were exited.
BPE commends the professionalism and actions of the relevant security agencies that supported the operational takeover of the HQ facility in Benin and the reinstatement of operational control of the HQ to the recognized interim Board and Management.
BPE alongside NERC will continue to monitor the DiSCO and work with the Ministry of Power and relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure no disruptions to service occur and that the interim Board and Management are allowed to proceed with their work unimpeded.
Yunana Jackdell Malo
Director, Industries & Services
For: Director General (BPE).

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