Banks takes over Victor Osibodu’s BEDC over multi-billion naira debt

This are not the best of time for Mr. Victor Osibodu, husband to one time Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, as leading bank has taken over his BEDC company over debt.

Top Nigerian lenders and two firms namely Fidelity Bank Plc, Stanbic-IBTC, Keystone Bank Limited, ALM Consulting Limited and Stanbic-IBTC Trustees Limited have taken over control of Benin, Kano and Kaduna electricity distribution companies over their inability to repay multi-billion naira loans obtained to pay for assets acquired in 2013 privatisation exercise.

While Benin DisCo is owned by Mr. Victor Osibodu and his wife, Funke, a former managing director of Ecobank, Kano DisCo – Alhaji Tajudeen Aminu Dantata, Kaduna DisCo is owned by former Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) commissioner, Alhaji Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar.

The banks have written to the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), which oversees the government’s 40 percent stake in the DisCos that it has replaced the board members of the affected DISCOs.

The new board members for Kano DISCO are Hasan Tukur (Chairman), Nelson Ahaneku (Member), Rabiu Suleiman (Member)

For Benin DisCo, the board members are KC Akuma (Chairman), Adeola Ijose (Member), Charles Onwera (Member)

While for Kaduna DISCO, the new appointments are: Abbas Jega (Chairman), Ameenu Abubakar (Member), Marlene Ngoyi (Member)

BPE has also nominated Bashir Gwandu (Kano), Yomi Adeyemi (Benin), and Umar Abdullahi (Kaduna) as independent Directors to represent Government’s 40 percent interest in the three DISCOs respectively, during this transition.

BusinessDay reported on Tuesday that the Central Bank of Nigeria is no longer willing to continue to allow Nigerian banks to carry their huge non-performing loans associated with the funding of the privatisation of the power sector without having to provide for them.

The apex bank, which has supported the beleaguered electricity sector with both cash injection as well as forbearance, is now contemplating a change in the rules in light of the poor performance of at least five of the distribution companies (DisCos).

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