The Director, Industries and Services of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Yunana Malo, said residents in Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo might experience power outage due to the current leadership tussle in Benin Distribution Company (BEDC).
Vigeo Power Limited filled a lawsuit against Fidelity Bank and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) over a credit facility which it obtained to reportedly purchase shares of Benin Distribution Company.
Both Fidelity Bank and African Export-Import Bank had activated a take over of Benin Distribution Company, after accusing Vigeo Power of not servicing its debt. This led to the ouster of the management, and appointment of interim management.
As a result, Vigeo Power sued Fidelity Bank and African Export-Import Bank, and the ousted management claimed that the loan in question was not backed by the shares of BEDC, so the takeover, backed by BPE, is illegal.
Reacting to the faceoff, Malo said, “The BPE is monitoring the events at BEDC and is aware that the Interim Board recognised by the NERC and the Bureau has retaken operational control of the Headquarters in Benin with the support of authorities.”
He further stated that, “The Interim Board already had financial control of the entity, and the usage of non-state actors by the former Board and Managing Director to forcefully disrupt the affairs of the entity was unfortunate.
“The actions, if left unchecked, risked plunging the citizens of Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Ondo (under the BEDC franchise) into darkness.”Malo said, adding, “Vigeo Holding, having defaulted on its loan and having collateralised its controlling shares, had lost ownership in the entity.”