Art and Culture

BEDC Faults Takeover by Fidelity Bank

todayJuly 10, 2022 1

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Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

Following the activation of calls on its collateralised shares by Fidelity Bank Plc, the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) Plc yesterday said there was no legal basis for the takeover of the company.

The company added that all matters relating to the BEDC and Fidelity Bank were subjects for litigation before a competent court, saying to act outside the court would amount to an illegal act, which it assured the management would resist.

The company made the observation yesterday in a statement by its Corporate Affairs Officer, Ibeamaka Dog, faulting a court order directing Fidelity Bank Plc to take over the distribution company.

The purported activation seeks to take over the respective Boards of Kano Electricity Distribution Company, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company and Benin Electricity Distribution Company over their inability to repay the loans obtained to acquire majority stakes in the DisCos in furtherance of the 2013 privatisation exercise.

In its statement, BEDC said the referenced report also alleged that certain parties “have been appointed as Board Members, Independent Directors and Managing Director of BEDC Electricity Plc. 

“We understand these appointments have been communicated to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.”

“There is no contractual, statutory or regulatory basis for such”, adding that, “For the avoidance of doubt, the shares of BEDC have not been given as security to Fidelity Bank or to any other party”.

“As we understand it, Vigeo Holdings Limited (VHL – a non-shareholder of BEDC) obtained credit facilities from Stanbic IBTC Bank Limited, Fidelity Bank Plc, and Keystone Bank Plc (the VHL Lenders).

“We further understand that the said credit facilities (and any enforcement action in relation thereto) have in the meantime become subject of litigation in a Court action instituted by VHL and other plaintiffs (VHL Action) with Suit No: FHC/L/CS/239/22 – Vigeo Holdings Limited and 4 Ors v. Stanbic IBTC Bank Limited, and therefore, sub judice”.

The management of BEDC Electricity Plc warned that, “Any attempt by Fidelity Bank and/or BPE to intervene in BEDC in the manner being reported will be illegal, unlawful and will be resisted”.

Consequently, the company urged its customers, investors and partners in the electricity business to ignore the trending reports, while assuring them of continuing smooth operation and that it remained, “focused on its mission to ensure delivery of quality and reliable electricity to the good people of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti States.”

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todayJuly 10, 2022

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