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Banks take over shares of five indebted DisCos, after failure to repay loans, appoint new MDs



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Commercial banks have taken over five distribution companies (DisCos) after they failed to repay loans obtained to acquire assets during the 2013 privatisation.

Two of the banks, Fidelity Bank and Afreximbank have already activated the call on the collateralised shares of Kano, Benin and Kaduna electricity distribution companies (DisCos).

Fidelity Bank has written to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), which oversees the government’s 40 percent stake in the DisCos, that it has replaced the board members of the affected DisCos.

A memo seen by Ripples Nigeria showed that the new board members for Kano DisCo are Hasan Tukur (chairman), Nelson Ahaneku (member), and Rabiu Suleiman (member).

For Benin DisCo, the board members are KC Akuma (chairman), Adeola Ijose (member) and Charles Onwera (member).

Read also: Electricity cost to go up, as Nigerian govt finally approves tariff increase for DisCos

While for Kaduna Disco, the new appointments are: Abbas Jega (chairman), Ameenu Abubakar (member) and Marlene Ngoyi (member).

The BPE has nominated Bashir Gwandu (Kano), Yomi Adeyemi (Benin), and Umar Abdullahi (Kaduna) as independent directors to represent the government’s 40 percent interest in the three DisCos respectively, during this transition.

In the interim, Fidelity bank has met with the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on an emergency basis and activated the business continuity process, and has also appointed interim managing directors for the affected DisCos.

The managing directors are Ahmad Dangana, for Kano DisCo, Henry Ajagbawa for Benin DisCo and Yusuf Usman Yahaya for Kaduna DisCo.

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