Tensions are flaring between the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the Ministry of Finance (MOFI) over the fate of the federal government’s shares in electricity distribution companies (DisCos).
In a letter sent to one of the DisCos, BPE said “Unless the FGN (through the National Council on Privatisation) decides otherwise, the Bureau of Public Enterprises holds 40 percent equity interests in all the DisCos on behalf of the Federal Government”.
According to the statement signed by Ignatius O., acting director general of the BPE, the BPE and other parties expressly nominated by FGN are the authorised representatives on the Board of all the DisCos.
Last week, Wale Edun, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, in the Order, dated January 10, directed the board of directors of the MOFI to assume ownership, control, and management of all equity holdings of the Federal Government of Nigeria in Nigeria’s 11 DisCos.
Edun also directed MOFI to “Assume ownership, control, and management of all equity holdings of the Federal Government. of Nigeria, as contemplated and provided for by law and/or any contract; and issue all appropriate notices, instruments, and documents which are required to give effect to this directive”.
Before this Order, under the statutory mandate in Section 9 of the now-repealed Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005, the BPE was the holder of record of the equity interests of the FG in DisCos.
However, the BPE has said that the law does not oblige any DisCo to furnish MOFI with the information/documents requested, given that the documents are being issued to only those entitled to receive it in line with the provisions of CAMA.
“Therefore, we request all the DisCos to refer MOFI or any government agency to BPE on issues related to FGN representation on the Board of theDisCos,” the statement read.