Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) said it has restructured and fully taken control of the Federal Government’s 40 percent equity holding in the 11 privatised successor electricity distribution companies (DISCos) of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
The announcement of the resumption of the formal takeover of the ownership, control and management of government equity and assets in all the DISCOs was contained in a statement on Monday signed by the Managing Director/Chief Executive of MOFI, Amstrong Takang.
As a reformed and active entity, Takang said MOFI was also taking significant steps to ensure these assets delivered full value to the country, while looking forward to collaborating with key stakeholders towards making a tangible impact in contributing to a thriving, resilient and growing Nigeria.
.The termination of the power of attorney to BPE was sequel to a formal authorisation by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun.
The authorisation by the Minister also gave the Board of MOFI power to immediately assume ownership, control and management of all outstanding Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) equity in all existing electricity successor companies in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry(NES
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, had at the weekend, in a letter dated January 10, 2024 directed the Board of Directors of MOFI to immediately revoke the Power of Attorney (PoA) which the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) exercised on its behalf in the past over one decade in the electricity successor companies.
The minister also directed MOFI to immediately assume ownership, control and management of all equity holding of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the successor companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, assume ownership, control and management of all equity holding of the Federal Government of Nigeria as contemplated and provided for by law and/or any contract; and issue all appropriate notices, instruments, documents which are required to give effect to this directive.
In its latest statement, MOFI, which has already executed the ministerial directive, said it had in 2012, issued a Power of Attorney to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) whereby BPE was empowered to carry out the actions necessary to fulfil the National Council on Privatisation (NCP’s) directives and complete the various electricity privatisation (share sale) transactions.
The BPE, it added, had since then held shares in the Discos on behalf of MOFI, adding that this continued for over 10 years after the sales were completed in 2013, until the recent order by the Minister of Finance.
While extending its gratitude to the BPE for its stewardship of the shares, the company noted that, “as a reformed and active entity, MOFI is taking significant steps to ensure that these assets deliver full value to the country.”
“We look forward to collaborating with our key stakeholders and, through our concerted efforts, making a tangible impact in contributing to a thriving, resilient and growing Nigeria,” the statement added.
According to MOFI, in the past 24 months, and particularly since the amendment of the MOFI Act by the Finance Act, 2023, it has been reformed and restructured from a unit in the Office of the Accountant-General to a full-fledged public sector (FGN) asset management corporation.
“This arose from the recognition that FGN assets across practically all economic sectors nominally valued at very significant sums were largely moribund or grossly underutilised and poorly managed. “Consequently, it was determined in 2021 by the then Minister of Finance, amongst other relevant decisions, that MOFI would adopt a new, value-driven strategic direction in aggregating and managing FGN assets,” the statement explained.