The Federal Ministry of Power has clarified the controversy triggered by the recent changes in the ownership structure and management of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Plc (AEDC).
While noting that earlier reports had largely been communicated out of context, the Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, said the AEDC has recently been facing significant operational challenges.
According to the minister, the issues arose from a dispute between the core investors (KANN consortium) as owners of 60% equity in AEDC and the UBA as lenders for the acquisition for the majority shareholding in the public utility.
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He further disclosed that the situation has currently deteriorated due to lack of access to intervention finances, leading to a point whereby legitimate entitlements of the staff are being owed.
This, Engr Aliyu, says is the reason service disruptions were encountered on December 6 within AEDC’s franchise area.
The Minister, however, emphasised that the Federal Ministry of Power has since taken the initiative to engage organised labour and electricity service has since been restored in the FCT and the states served by AEDC.
He added that the UBA, as a lender, and in exercising its rights over the shares of KANN Consortium in AEDC, has taken over the shares of the obligor in the AEDC.
The minister further explained that it was this takeover of the majority stake in AEDC by UBA that has consequently led to the reported changes in the management of the company.
According to him, the changes in shareholding in AEDC and the appointment of interim management by the shareholders have been endorsed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (the industry regulator) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (“BPE” as co-shareholders in AEDC).
In his summation, the minister reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Ministry of Power to working with all stakeholders to ensure service continuity in all areas served by the AEDC.