The establishment fights back…Presidency, BPE, Intervene In NERC vs Ibadan Disco Controversy


Presidency and the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) have intervened in the problems between the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), whose management was suspended over N5 billion debt.

A source close to both parties stated that a complaint had been made to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who is the chairman of the National Council on Privatisation who it was learnt had directed the board and management of IBEDC to write a letter to the council to look into the matter.

In the case of the BPE, it was learnt that it had already written a letter of objection on the NERC move.

“The BPE is totally against the action of NERC, as it has said it had no right to suspend a board in which the Federal Government is on,” the source said.

When contacted, the spokesperson for BPE, Amina Tukur Othman, said she had just resumed from leave and needed to be given more time to find out what was actually happening.

The source further stated that a meeting was to be scheduled for the first week of July between NERC and Ibadan Disco. Chairman of NERC, according to the source, is said to have told the Ibadan Disco members that challenged the commission to schedule for a meeting between the two parties.

He said what the commission was pursuing was a dead case full disclosure to be made to both NERC and BPE long time ago. “On the 14 of June 2018, our bank was directed to pay the money in question while NERC decides to slam suspension on the company on the 19,” he said, saying there was no fraud committed.

The IBEDC had reacted to the suspension, describing it as injudicious and unwarranted, as the action was at variance with the understanding that was reached with the BPE.

The BPE was the agency that sold the company on behalf of the Federal Government.

“The Board of the IBEDC received with shock and disbelief the decision of the NERC to suspend all executive and non-executive directors of IBEDC in its order of NERC/181/2018 dated 19th June 2018,” the company stated.

The two parties, according to a statement signed by Seye Alayande, the company secretary, reached an understanding that the repayment of the N5.7 billion plus interests would be made from the refund of the sum due from the Federal Government on the stalled Yola Electricity Distribution Company transaction. This position was to the knowledge of the BPE.

The company secretary stated that the understanding from BPE, which was conveyed to NERC, was that the refund, which had been due to IBEDC as far back as 2015, could only be made after the 2018 Appropriation Bill is signed into Law.

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