Adetayo Adegbemle

The coming of the fourth republic in 1999 came with its own bundles of problems that must be addressed, and the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo initiated a Power Sector Reform that ended the old monolithic Nigeria Electric Power Authority with the introduction of 11 regional Distribution Companies.

Despite all the hiccups experienced along the way, by November 2013, exactly 8years ago, when all the old NEPA Regional Offices were evolving to New Management Distribution Companies, the old Yola Regional Office was also being taken up by new core investors, Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited.

However, within months of acquiring Yola Disco, IEDM “were forced to declared a force majeure on the ground that it was impossible to operate and access the assets of the electricity distribution firm in the North-east due to the Boko Haram insurgency”. This was in 2015.

So while the remaining 10 Distribution Companies were facing their own challenges, but still seeing progress, Yola Disco was returned to the FG as a “Department of the Ministry”.  For the next 6years, no investor was interested until quest happened.

It is at this point that the bravery of the management of Mainstream Energy Services Limited is to be taken note of and applauded.

Security situation in the North East Nigeria has not considerably improved, and in the situation that even the assets, and Electricity Distribution can be managed, the economy of the North East still remains a serious concern for a would be investor.

The Management of Mainstream(MESL) themselves are not new to the electricity industry, as they are presently the concessionaires of both Kanji and Shiroro  Electric Power Dams, paying an annual fee of.

So, it must be said that their willingness to float Quest Electricity Nigeria Limited to invest in Yola Disco for N19bn (nineteen Billion Naira), with further Performance Improvement Program investment of N28bn (twenty eight billion) is definitely an uncommon business bravery in the face of security and economic hopelessness.

With the process itself having taken almost a year to conclude with the Bureau of Public Enterprise and the Labor Union, it is hoped that the Quest Electricity coming on board as new core investors of Yola Disco would bring succour for Nigerians in the North East, and the bravery of QENL to make such investment in the face of hopelessness, would ultimately pay off.

As the official taking over ceremony is billed for the 8th of November, 2021, 8years after other 10 Distribution Companies have been sold off, the management of Quest Electricity can only be wished the best.

 

Adetayo Adegbemle is a public opinion commentator/analyst, researcher, and the convener of PowerUpNigeria, pioneer Electric Power Consumer Right Advocacy Group in Nigeria (Twitter:@PowerUpNg, Email: powerupnigeria@gmail.com)

 

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