We’ll exit, if FG refund our N427bn in 24hours

Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) investors yesterday said that considering the unending issues in the power sector in Nigeria, they are willing to exit or handover the distribution assets back to the Federal Government, if it refunds the sum of $1.4billion (427 billion) paid to buy the assets in 24 hours.
Recall, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola said the DisCos bought the assets of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) with their eyes wide open therefore, should exit if could not continue.
However, in a World Press Conference of the Association of Electricity Distributors’ Investors and the Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) in Abuja, the representative of the investors and the Chairman, Jos DisCo, Tukur Modibbo said, Jos DisCo bought the company for $82billion in 2013 and would be willing to take $72bn if the Federal Government pay in 24hours.
“We in Jos Disco, we bought our DisCo cash down for $82 billion in 2013, we are willing to take $72billion in 24hours to leave. We are giving the Federal Government $10billion discount”, he said.
Corroborating Modibbo’s statement, the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ibadan DisCo, Engr. John Ayodele said, “if you can refund their money in 5 minutes, they will leave in 10 minutes.
“No investor wants to stay for one minutes. However, the one they returned in Yola since 2015 as we speak today, no kobo has been paid. So you can imagine the frustration of saying I want to go to government and say I want to leave, then you will have to wait till 2029 before you get your money and you will be paying interest on that loan till they pay it. By the time government will refund you, the loan itself will not be paid, you will use that money to only pay the interest on it”, he said.
Meanwhile, ANED’s Spokesman Barr. Sunday Oduntan said, the DisCos investors who paid $1.4billion (N427) for the distribution assets have not made any return on their investment, a condition which was the basis of the investment after the five-year performance period.
“Even worse is that, with current conditions, it is unlikely that they will recover their investment, which is already in the negative, anytime in the near term. However, this lack of sight of a return on investment, certainly, does not encourage the injection of borrowed capital or equity that is key to driving the turnaround of NESI or providing the efficiency and signing that will result in improved generation and the resultant tariff reduction”, he said.
Rolling out the issues from the investors’ perspective, Modibbo said, investors took over the privatised assets without technical or financial audits.
“We have forgotten that (Labour) National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) was vehemently against the privatisation of the sector. And you dire not walk into any premises of the defunct PHCN with a white man or even come with a group of people. They will feel you are coming to take over their livelihood, what they believed to be their personal turf. So, we had to rely on records that had been given to us by Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
“I can tell you that all of those records were not accurate. There was no technical audit to see list of the assets of the defunct PHCN. Yes, 30 transformers or 60 transformers, this number of length of cables, it did not tell whether these transformers were online or they have packed up for long, or moribund completely.
“It will not tell whether all the alminium conductors are of the same sizes, no financial audit, no external audit. It was what they left behind that we took. And we complained that we didn’t have due diligence. Now BPE and the regulator (NERC) agreed that we should take over, institute independent studies and confirm the actual state of affairs and then you come back for negotiation.
“ In particular, the level of the Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection Losses (ATC & C), they agreed

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