A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Interstate earmarks N41.66bn to upgrade Enugu Disco

Dikki and Offor
Benjamin Dikki, DG, BPE & Emeka Offor, Chairman, Interstate

17 September 2013, Abuja – Interstate Electrics, the core investor for the Enugu Electricity Distribution Plc has unveiled a N41.66 billion budget for the upgrade of the asset over the next five years.

The company in its capital investment proposal to the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, had stated that its investments would seek to reduce technical, commercial and collection losses, and the deployment of pre-paid meters to eliminate the existing metering.

That also included the expansion of the company’s network besides other investments necessary to efficiently operate the firm.

The proposal further stressed that the technical loss investments will focus on rehabilitation, replacement and strengthening of network equipment as set out in the Technical Plan, while commercial loss investment will focus on increasing billing and process efficiency as set out in the Technical Plan.

It stated: “This is intended to bring quality and uninterrupted power to customers. (the company) will eliminate the Metering Gap in two years and provide meters to all new customers. Network expansion investments will be undertaken to meet future growth and demands. Other investments will be aimed at increasing the operational efficiency of the disco as indicated in the operational plan. Process efficiency and devised enterprise solutions will result in customer satisfaction.” It was also revealed that the core investor for Interstate had proposed N12.8 billion for investments to reduce technical/system losses over the next five years. The proposal was also adjudged exceptional.

A BPE source said: “Our fears over abilities of most core investors have been allayed with what has been paid so far. The problem with this kind of business is raising acquisition/equity funds. Once that is sorted out, you can be assured that working capital is not likely going to be a problem, as financial institutions, both foreign and local are easily disposed to funding such projects given their prospects.”

Besides Interstates, other successful consortia are West Power and Gas, the preferred bidder for the Eko Distribution Company; NEDC/KEPCO, Ikeja Distribution Company; 4power Consortium, Port Harcourt Distribution Company; Vigeo Consortium, Benin Distribution Company; Aura Energy, Jos Distribution Company; Kann Consortium, Abuja Distribution Company; Integrated Energy Distribution and marketing Company, the preferred bidder for the Ibadan and Yola Distribution Companies; Sahelian Power, Kano Distribution Company; Transcorp/Woodrock Consortium, Ughelli Power Plc; Mainstream Energy Limited, Kanji Power Plc; and CMEC/EUAFRIC Energy JV, which made the part-payment for the acquisition of Sapele Power Plc.

Meanwhile, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the South-east zone, Osita Okechukwu, Monday gave the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, a seven-day ultimatum within which to furnish him with information on the privatisation of the Enugu Distribution Company Plc (Enugu Disco) in line with the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2011.

Okechukwu said he would commence legal proceedings against the bureau if it fails to comply with the ultimatum.

THISDAY checks revealed that Okechukwu had earlier in a letter dated September 12 requested the BPE’s Director General to furnish him with information and documents covering the events, ranging from expression of interest, valuation and technical proposal, emergence of the preferred bidder, share purchase agreement, payments made so far (with dates) and all other relevant documents, relating to the sale of the company.

In a statement yesterday in Enugu, the APC chieftain noted that for the BPE to bend the rules to allow a preferred bidder buy a national treasure was against due process and the rules of the privatisation process.

Okechukwu, who is the South-east Zonal Publicity Secretary of APC and the National Publicity Secretary of Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), disclosed that he had already briefed human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), on the matter.

His earlier letter to the BPE had read: “Requests for Information-Privatisation of Enugu Distribution Company read: “May I humbly request you to use your good offices to furnish me with information regarding the privatisation of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company Plc. “Sir, I am a tax payer from Enugu State, whose daily bread is tangential to the electricity supply.

“I make this request, relying on the FoI Act 2011. For the avoidance of doubt, I request you to furnish me with information and documents covering the events, ranging from expression of interest, valuation and technical proposal, emergence of the preferred bidder, share purchase agreement, payments made so far (with dates) and all other relevant documents, relating to the sale of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (ENDISCO).

“While waiting for your favourable response in accordance with FoI Act, kindly accept my highest assurance and best regards,” Okechukwu said.

– This Day

In this article

Join the Conversation