Nigeria: Fidelity Bank Takes over Kano, Benin and Kaduna Discos – FG triggers Business Continuity Rules.

The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Tuesday disclosed that Fidelity Bank has activated the call on the collateralised shares of Kano, Benin and Kaduna (Fidelity and AFREXIM) DisCos and has taken over the three Discos.

The BPE also said that they have initiated action to take over the Boards of these DisCos and exercise the rights on the shares.

In the statement jointly signed by the Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Sanusi Garba and the Director General of the BPE, Alex A. Okoh,

“Fidelity Bank’s action is a contractual and commercial intervention and is between the Core Investors in the DisCos and the lender. 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), Engr. 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.”

According to the statement, “We are 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 Programme).

“In the interim, NERC and BPE met on an Emergency Basis and activated the Business Continuity Process and have appointed interim Managing Directors in the affected DISCOs.

  1. Kano Disco – Ahmad Dangana
  2. Benin Disco – Henry Ajagbawa
  3. Kaduna Disco– Yusuf Usman Yahaya

“Also, with the takeover of Ibadan DISCO by AMCON, the BPE has obtained approval from NERC to appoint Kingsley Achife as the interim Managing Director,” the statement said.

“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.

“Lastly, we are re-structuring the Management and Board of Port Harcourt DISCO to forestall the imminent insolvency of the entity. 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. Mr. Benson Uwheru will takeover 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.

“We are working with the Honourable 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,” the statement explained.

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