FG to Sell DisCos Under AMCON, Banks in Next 3 Months’

The federal government says it would sell off five electricity distribution companies (DisCos) under the management of banks and Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in the next three months to technical power operations.

Adebayo Adelabu, minister of Power, spoke in Abuja on Monday when members of the Senate Committee on Power visited the ministry.

The five DisCos include Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), currently under the management of the United Bank for Africa (UBA); Benin Electricity Distribution Company, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, and Kano Electricity Distribution Company, managed by Fidelity Bank, while Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company is under AMCON management.

The DisCos are under the management of the banks and AMCON due to their debt burden.

Adelabu said the energy distribution assets were technical, adding that as such, they should be under the management of technical experts.

He also said the tough decision on the DisCos had become necessary because the entire Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) failed when they refused to perform.

According to Adebayo, the ministry would prevail on the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to revoke underperforming licences and also change the management board of the DisCos if it became the solution.

“On 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,” Adelabu 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.

”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”, he added.

The minister further said it had become necessary to reorganise the DisCos for efficiency.

He stressed that Ibadan DisCo was too large for one company to manage.

Adelabu also dropped the hint that the federal government mobilised a company named Messr Zigglass with $200 million (N32 billion) to supply three million meters that were yet to be supplied to date.

“If you held N32 billion for these years, where is the interest,” he asked.

According to Adelabu, President Bola Tinubu directed that the contract be revoked.

He said the government would bridge the current eight million metering gap in the next four to five years.

The minister said the funding for the metre was coming from a seed capital of N100 billion and N75 billion.

He added that the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NISA) was coming to the aid of the ministry with the fund.