The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has explained that the Board composition of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and the other four DisCos was concluded three days before the Federal High Court issued an interim order.
The explanation came after the NCP’s attention was drawn to an Interim Order of the Federal High Court dated 8th July, 2022, in respect of a Suit between Vigeo Power Limited vs. Fidelity Bank Plc and seven others over the board composition of BEDC.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by Mr Alex A. Okoh, Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), he reiterated that the government’s action was to safeguard the industry and support Market Stabilisation through restructuring and repositioning to serve the citizens of the franchise area better.
He added that government will work to ensure no service disruptions during these transitions as it remains committed to supporting the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry to serve Nigerians better.
The statement reads in part: “The attention of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP or Council) has been drawn to an Interim Order of the Federal High Court dated 8th July, 2022, in respect of a Suit between Vigeo Power Limited vs. Fidelity Bank Plc and 7 Others over the Board composition of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).
“Following this unfortunate development, it has become imperative for Council to educate both the staff of BEDC and the public; particularly those within the BEDC franchise area comprising Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti States of the steps taken by the Federal Government regarding the Board composition of the various Electricity Distribution Companies across the country which were concluded on the 5th of July, 2022 and published/aired in the print and electronic media across the country and indeed the globe.
“Therefore, the National Council on Privatisation wishes to state that the Board composition of both BEDC and the other four (4) DisCos was concluded on the 5th July, 2022, three (3) days before the purported Court Order”.
Mr Okoh further stated that Fidelity Bank informed Council, vide its Secretariat, the Bureau of Public Enterprises, that they have activated the call on the collateralised shares of Vigeo Power Limited in BEDC.
He added that Fidelity Bank’s action is a contractual and commercial intervention between the Core Investor (Vigeo Power Limited) and the lender, as BPE is involved because of the 40 per cent shareholding of the Government in the BEDC.
The BPE’s Director-General advised the general public to be “appropriately guided”.