By Etuka Sunday
Investors in the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) have reshuffled the governing board of the Distribution Company (DisCo).
This is coming seven years after the power sector privatisation through which the DisCo was acquired from the defunct PHCN by private investors.
AEDC was acquired by KANN Utility Company Limited, jointly owned by Xerxes Global Limited, a local firm; and CEC Africa Limited (CECA), a pan African utility firm.
A statement by CECA on Friday, said the board of KANN Utility Company Limited has announced the withdrawal of their nominations to the board of AEDC and their replacement with new nominees.
The boards of the successor private-led DisCos comprise seven directors of whom six, including the MD/CEO are appointed by the core investor and one is appointed by the Federal Government through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
However, the statement said by a resolution of the KANN board, the nominations of five directors of AEDC were withdrawn. These directors include Ambassador Shehu Malami, the AEDC Chairman; Mr. Siyanga Malumo, the Vice Chairman; and Mr. Emmanuel Katepa, a Director and MD, CECA;
The other directors are Alhaji Ahmad Maiyaki and Mr. Olusegun Doherty·
“The board of KANN proposed the following new directors: Engr. Joe Makoju (Chairman), Mallam Ibrahim Aliyu (Vice Chairman), Engr. Dr. Olubunmi Peters, Dr. George Nwangwu, and Mr. Faruk Aliyu.
“The board of AEDC has since resolved to accept both the withdrawals and the new appointments,” it said.
KANN Utility also said it is now expected that the management of AEDC will take the necessary steps to obtain the regulatory approvals and Corporate Affairs Commission filings necessary to give effect to the decision of the AEDC board.
Commenting on this, Engr. Katepa said: “The changes that have been made at AEDC are meant to bring a combination of new energy and extensive experience in the Nigerian business space to the company.
“We are confident that the company will continue on its trajectory as one of the most promising distribution companies and will better navigate the very unique challenges of the Nigerian power sector,” noted Katepa.
However, it should be noted that the chairman/vice chairman positions are yet to be decided.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Board of AEDC and Also Chair of the Board of KANN, Ambassador Shehu Malami said, he was not aware of any change of board members.
Malami in a statement said, the Board of AEDC was alarmed by the publication of a purported change of its ownership, and its Board of Directors.
He therefore, urged the general public to disregard such act of brazen illegality by what appears to be an act from one of the shareholders of KANN (KANN being the 60% shareholder of AEDC).
“For the records the Board of AEDC is the only authorised body that can appoint or remove its directors, and has made no such decision in recent time. As a matter of fact, the last meeting of AEDC Board was held on 22nd October 2020, and at that meeting there was no such appointment or removal of any director by the Board of AEDC. Since then, there has not been any other meeting of AEDC Board known to me as its Chairman, or known to any of the directors on the Board of AEDC that represent 70% majority holding.
“We have also learnt that there was another attempt to change the composition of the Board and shareholders of KANN at the CAC. This act hinged upon brazen illegality packaged and processed at the CAC, in utter disregard to the ongoing court processes.
“I would like to state here that the Board of both KANN and AEDC remains unchanged. The Board of each of the companies is responsible to appoint or remove its directors, and this has not happened.
“As the subsisting Chairman of both Board of KANN and AEDC I hereby urge the staff of AEDC and the general public to disregard all communications to the contrary,” the statement said.