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Power distribution companies threaten to leave Nigeria

Power distribution companies threaten to leave Nigeria

- Power distributors have threatened to leave Nigeria

- The companies offered to sell the power assets at a discounted price and leave the country

The Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) has threatened to sell out power assets and leave Nigeria over a prolonged disagreement between the federal government and power distribution companies.

The Punch reports that the company also called on the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, to urgently convene a meeting with investors in the Discos if he truly wanted the sector to make progress, adding that they were willing to resell the power assets to the federal government or any interested buyer.

The investor in Jos Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Tukur Modibbo, who spoke at a conference in Abuja, said the power distributors are willing to sell at a discounted price.

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He said: “You asked me whether we are willing to quit the business. Now, please listen to me and put it down clearly that we bought our distribution company cash down for $82m in 2013; we are willing to take $72m in 24 hours and leave.

“If you have $72m or Fashola can give us $72m, we are giving him $10m discount; if we get that sum, in 24 hours we are out of this business. Please, is there anybody with $72m here? If there is none, please advertise it for me because I’ve given you the price.

“We want the minister to call us and ask us why we are not investing, and to find out why the banks are not willing to fund the distribution companies at all. This is because we are not keeping all the parameters that are supposed to make us a business. We are not there. So, I want you to use your media to tell the minister that we as investors are complaining.

“Tell him that we want to meet him for him to understand why we are not meeting up with the investment that he thinks we ought to do despite the fact that we are doing it to some extent. But we are investing and not making money. However, for us to invest, we need to make money.”

The Chief Operating Officer, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company, John Ayodele, said: “On when we are going to quit the business, the fact is that if you ask all the investors, because I’ve sat with them, if you can refund them their money in five minutes, they will quit in 10 minutes. No investor wants to stay.

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"So, if you are ready to refund the money right now, no investor will stay for one minute. The one (Disco) they returned in Yola (to the federal government) since 2015, as we speak today, no kobo has been paid to the investor. So, you can imagine the frustration. Let us look at this issue from the business angle, no investor is a Father Christmas.”

Meanwhile, earlier reported that the Nigerian Electricity Regularly Commission (NERC) was ordered by the federal government on Monday, July 9, to enforce the contract mandating power distribution companies to provide meters to customers and eliminate estimated electricity bills in the power sector.

The directive became vital following the number of complaints coming from power consumers on meters, which the Discos should supply, as well as concerns about estimated billings and mass disconnection, adding that these would not be allowed to continue.

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