No license renewal for DisCos -BPE debunks rumour

Bureau of Public Enterprises, (BPE) a government agency charged with the responsibility of implementing the Nigerian policy on privatization and commercialization, has denied renewing operating license of Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos).

In a statement made available to newsmen, BPE Director-General, Alex Okoh said there is nothing ongoing in terms of contract or licence renewal for any of the distribution companies, including Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).

Okoh said, “The government respects contracts and would not do anything to jeopardise the operations of companies that the Federal Government had willingly entered into agreements with, including the Discos.

“We have followed the development in Benin Disco with keen interest and indeed the attention of the bureau has been drawn to certain erroneous information over the purported renewal of the licences issued to the Discos, including BEDC for the purpose of retail distribution of electricity.”

Okoh, however, clarified the difference between a performance agreement review and what was purported as a review of the operating licence of the Disco. According to him, the performance agreement stipulated the milestones that the core investors should achieve within a specified period.

The BPE boss added that the issue of licensing was a different matter and was being handled by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

Okoh further noted that all the privatised Discos were also required to get NERC licence.

“For BEDC, there is an existing 15 years NERC licence broken into 10 years plus five years, with another 10 years renewal option at the end of the 15 years period, i.e. licence of up to 25years.” Okoh said.

It was reported that the Federal Government through the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), received an approval to the resale of Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC), as it invites core investors to express interest in acquiring the government’s 60% shareholding in the electricity distribution company.

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