Concerns over Enugu Distribution Company

The Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) appears to be mismanaging the fallout of Interstate Electric Limited’s default in payment for the Enugu Disco and this will erode confidence in and lower credibility of the hugely successful power reform exercise. Interstate Electric limited is the preferred bidder for the Disco whilst the rule makes provision for the reserve bidder to make payments for any Disco should the preferred bidder defaults in payment for any reason. A sound approach put in place to ensure no one cartel, wittingly or unwittingly jeopardises this unprecedented giant strides in the history of Nigerian Power System. The experts in law will be in a better position to interpret the rules and maybe the provision is there to allow the preferred bidder, who has shown lack of will and financial muscle to run a power network by not being able to pay like the remaining investors, even 3 weeks after the deadline, to make payment anytime it desires. The argument put forward by the Preferred looser (mine) is that their financial investors are not sure of the veracity of the Power Sector reform process giving the antecedents of the Nigerian Polity. Fair enough! What about the financiers of the other 14 investors who paid on schedule. They recognise the same risk and perhaps more. Hence, this argument holds no water. The reserve bidder will probably take the matter to court giving their vested interest and down payment.

Regulation, Consumer protection and Competition Issues must now take the front burner. The NIPP privatisation must be successfully completed; the transmission corridor strengthened. There is need to stimulate huge private sector investment in new generation capacity across the country and the management of the highly technical electricity market must be insulated from political and other interferences.

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