AMCON takes over IBEDC over loan default, promises to retain staff
The Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) has announced the takeover of the energy distribution company by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) with the appointment of Kunle Ogunba to act as the Receiver/Manager Nominee in the receivership action.
The takeover follows the judgement by a Federal High Court on September 8, 2021, which granted orders in favour of AMCON as Receiver/Manager of Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing (IEDM) Limited, IBEDC’s core investor, over default in Loan Service Agreement.
This was announced to the workers by the electricity distribution company’s Chief Operating Officer, John Ayodele, in a statement dated January 20, 2022. The development was said to have triggered panic among the workers but the chief operating officer assured them that their jobs were secured.
They were assured in the statement which he read saying, “Based on the foregoing the Receiver/Manager came in today 20th January 2022 ( Thursday) to the IBEDC Headquarters to take charge formally and subsequently met with the management team. Therefore, I hereby wish to inform all staff that there is no cause for alarm. We are assured of job security which entails our position/ duties in the company, entitlements to our salaries and other benefits etc. On behalf of the management, I urge us all to kindly go about the efficient discharge of our duties to ensure a speedy and mutually beneficial resolution.”
The statement also reads, ‘’Further, to the judgement wherein the Federal High Court on the 8th of September 2021 granted preservative orders in favour of Asset Management Corporation AMCON, (being the Receiver/Manager of Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited); the court has appointed Mr Kunle Ogunba Esq.SAN to act as Receiver/ Manager Nominee in the receivership action.”
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had previously fined IBEDC N50 million for “its failure to secure a refund of an interest-free loan the board of IBEDC granted to its core investor group.”
The loan was granted by IBEDC from funds released to all DisCos by the CBN under the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Funds (NEMSF) for the purpose of improving the networks and reducing aggregate technical, commercial and collection losses.
Also in 2018, NERC had, vide its Order No. NERC/181/2018 of June 19th 2018, suspended the Board of Directors and other key management staff of IBEDC on account of the company’s default in the recovery of the inappropriate shareholder loan granted to IEDM by the utility company.