Discos raise alarm over FG’s plans to escrow accounts

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Investors in the power distribution companies (Discos) have raised the alarm over moves by the Federal Government to escrow their revenue accounts, The Sun reports.

Executive Director, Association of Nigeria Electricity Distributors (ANED), Mr. Sunday Oduntan, warned that any attempt to go ahead with the plan is tantamount to nationalisation or expropriation of the Discos. “To date, the government has not met the privatisation transaction foundational requirements of providing N100 billion in subsidy to the sector. Any attempt at escrowing our accounts runs counter to the objectives of the National Electricity Power Policy, 2001 (NEPP) and the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005, of a private sector-owned and managed electricity sector,” he said. 

Oduntan equally maintained that the move would also send very wrong signals to domestic and international investors that Nigeria is not fully open for private sector investment and that, “we are still in favour of old habits of nationalisation, preventing the injection of the needed capital that is critical to the rehabilitation and improvement of electricity infrastructure. You cannot have a supposedly private sector-owned and managed business in which the government now seizes control of its revenues. It is a contradiction in terms and practice,” he said.