BPE dispels rumour of Discos’ licence renewal

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The Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Alex Okoh, has said that there is nothing ongoing in terms of contract or licence renewal for any of the distribution companies, including Benin Electricity Distribution Company, Punchng report.

In a press statement issued on Thursday, Okoh also appealed to civil society groups, residents and all stakeholders in the BEDC franchise areas to exercise restraint and allow the company perform its functions of electricity distribution without any hindrance.

He was quoted as saying, “The government respects contracts and would not do anything to jeopardise the operations of companies that the Federal Government had willingly entered into agreements with, including the Discos.

“We have followed the development in Benin Disco with keen interest and indeed the attention of the bureau has been drawn to certain erroneous information over the purported renewal of the licences issued to the Discos, including BEDC for the purpose of retail distribution of electricity.”

Clarifying the difference between a performance agreement review and what was purported as a review of the operating licence of the Disco, Okoh disclosed that the performance agreement stipulated the milestones that the core investors should achieve within a specified period.

He said the issue of licensing was a different matter and was being handled by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

The BPE boss noted that in relation to the above, all the privatised Discos were also required to get NERC licence.

He said, “For BEDC, there is an existing 15 years NERC licence broken into 10 years plus five years, with another 10 years renewal option at the end of the 15 years period, i.e. licence of up to 25years.”

Okoh said the Federal Government was pursuing a comprehensive power sector recovery programme that would address the challenges of the sector, many of which were faced by, but not peculiar to the Benin franchise areas.

He said the government was working with its international partners to reposition the power sector, adding that BEDC in particular had benefited from the services of international institutions like the United States Agency for International Development.

The Managing Director, BEDC, Funke Osibodu, disclosed that 27 applications were received for the Meter Asset Provider scheme, adding that after screening, seven were currently going through the financial bid review process.

On the Ondo South network rehabilitation project, she said the Federal Government through the National Independent Power Project had joined forces with BEDC for the speedy rehabilitation of the whole network.

She said, “According to the new schedule of the joint effort, the first phase is from Ore junction to Okitipupa where 19 communities had been connected to the grid in Ondo South including Ore, Odigbo, Adaja and Liyetu, among others.

“In Ondo North, 34 communities have been connected including Gedegede, Ikun, Eriti, Oke-Agbe, Ikare, Arigidi, Oba-Akoko and Ikaram among others.”

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