Fidelity Bank takes over Kano, Benin, Ibadan electricity coys

Fidelity Bank Plc yesterday took over the Boards and Management of the Kano, Benin and Kaduna electricity distribution companies (DISCOs), to recover outstanding debt owed it for the purchase of the firms.

This follows a notice to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) by Fidelity Bank Plc that it has activated the call on the collateralized shares of Kano, Benin and Kaduna (Fidelity and AFREXIM) DISCOs, and has initiated action to take over the Boards of these companies and exercise the rights on the shares.

The move already received the approval of the Federal Government for the restructuring of four of the DISCOs, including the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution (PHED).

In a statement yesterday, the Bureau confirmed that Fidelity Bank’s action is a contractual and commercial intervention and is between the Core Investors in the DISCOs and the lender.

The statement reads: “BPE is involved because of the 40% shareholding of Government in the DISCOs.

“Fidelity Bank has informed us that the new Board members of the affected DISCOs will be as follows:

  • Kano DISCO: Hasan Tukur (Chairman), Nelson Ahaneku (Member), Rabiu Suleiman (Member)
  • Benin DISCO: KC Akuma (Chairman), Adeola Ijose (Member), Charles Onwera (Member)
  • Kaduna DISCO: Abbas Jega (Chairman), Ameenu Abubakar (Member), Marlene Ngoyi (Member)

“BPE has nominated Bashir Gwandu (Kano); Yomi Adeyemi (Benin); and Umar Abdullahi (Kaduna) as independent Directors to represent Government’s 40% interest in the three DISCOs respectively, during this transition.”

Fidelity Bank’s action is a contractual and commercial intervention and is between the Core Investors in the DISCOs and the lender.

In addition, the Bureau said it is engaging with the Central Bank of Nigeria (as the banking sector regulator) to ensure an orderly transition and to ensure that Fidelity Bank does not hold the DISCOs’ shares in perpetuity.

“It is envisaged that the majority interest in the entities would be sold to capable private sector investors willing and able to re-capitalize and manage the entities efficiently.

“We have also received assurances that Fidelity Bank will participate fully in all the ongoing market initiatives aimed at improving the sector (e.g. National Mass Metering Program),” it said.

It added that “In the interim, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and BPE met on an Emergency Basis and activated the Business Continuity Process and have appointed interim Managing Directors in the affected DISCOs.”

These include: Kano Disco – Ahmad Dangana; Benin Disco – Henry Ajagbawa; and Kaduna Disco – Yusuf Usman Yahaya

Also, with the takeover of Ibadan DISCO by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the BPE said it has obtained approval from NERC to appoint Kingsley Achife as the interim Managing Director.

“In a temporary capacity, the leadership of AMCON will be a placeholder Board for the Ibadan franchise (Ahmed Kuru – Chair, Eberechukwu Uneze – Member, Aminu Ismail – Member). Oluwaseyi Akinwale will represent the interest of Government on the Board alongside the DG of BPE,” it said.

The Bureau also announced the restructuring of the Management and Board of Port Harcourt DISCO, to forestall the imminent insolvency of the company.

“As a condition for support to the entity to meet its market obligations, Iboroma Akpana will take over as the Chairman of the Board. Emmanuel Okotete, Eyo Ekpo, Ismaila Shuaibu and the DG of BPE will form the interim Board. Benson Uwheru will take over as the Managing Director of PHEDC as part of the changes.

“Government will support the activation of Emergency funds through the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilization Facility to support the entity, while it goes through restructuring and repositioning to serve the citizens of the franchise area better,” it said.

The Bureau said it is working with the Minister of Power to ensure no service disruptions during these transitions. We remain committed to supporting the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry to serve Nigerians better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post

OPEC Secretary-General, Mohammad Barkindo is dead

Next Post

NGX, GSE chart ways for capital market collaborations

Related Posts