FG move to sell distressed DisCos

The Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, Monday, disclosed that tough decisions would soon be taken against electricity distribution companies otherwise known as DisCos, and declared that the distressed five among the 11 of them would be resold.

Recall that no fewer than five DisCos are either under the management of banks or Asset Management Companies (AMCON) over the inability to fulfil their financial obligations.

The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) is currently under the management of the United Bank of Africa (UBA), Fidelity Bank manages the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, and Kano Electricity Distribution Company while the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company is under the AMCON management.

Speaking when the Senate Committee on Power led by Senator Enyinnaya  Abaribe paid an oversight visit to his ministry in Abuja, Adelabu noted that power sector privatisation was done with good intentions, but lamented that it was poorly implemented and executed.

To this end, he threatened that the licences of under-performing dDisCos would be withdrawn, saying that the energy distribution assets are technical and as such, they should be under the management of technical experts. 

He said: “The entire ministry is not performing. We have put pressure on NERC, which is their regulator to make sure they raise the bar on regulation activities. And on the distribution, very soon you will see that tough decisions will be taken on the DisCos. They are the last lap of the sector. If they don’t perform, the entire sector is not performing.

” If they have to withdraw licenses for non-performance, why not? If they have to change the board of management, why not? And all the DisCos that are still under AMCON and Banks, within the next three months, must be sold to technical power operators with good reputations in utility management.

“We can no longer afford AMCON to run our DisCos. We can no longer afford the banks to run our DisCos. This is a technical industry and it must be run by technical experts.”

While describing the power sector crisis as historical, Adelabu blamed issues in the industry on uncompleted projects and urged the committee to approve funds for the completion of over 120 projects that litter across the country.

Earlier, Abaribe had explained that the oversight visit became necessary to find out the challenges that have led to the poor supply of electricity to Nigerians and also the reasons for the consistent collapses of the national grid.

He disclosed that come 29th April 2024, the committee would convene an investigative hearing into the issue of tariff hikes without relevant stakeholders in the sector.

Abaribe lamented that some other countries of Africa are making a joke of Nigeria as a generator country, where no one can do anything without having a private generator which is not acceptable.