‘Our partners defaulted in $41m Abuja DisCo’s funding’

…my goodwill yet to be paid for – Malami

CEC Africa Investments Limited (CECA), a major shareholder of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has blamed its partner, Xerxes Global Investment Limited for breaching a $41 million funding agreement for acquiring the DisCo in 2013.

However, the Chairman of Xerxes Limited, Amb. Shehu Malami said CECA ought to pay him for his goodwill and name which facilitated the sale of AEDC to KANN Utility Company Limited, their consortium.

But CECA in the statement on Thursday dismissed this claim saying goodwill could not have bought the DisCo, especially with the initial payment of $41m to the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

“Till date, Xerxes has not shown any capacity to repay its part of that obligation to CECA, six years after the privatisation. Yet it wants to claim major ownership of AEDC but has failed to fulfil any financial obligation and has left the business risk on CECA,” said Engr. Emmanuel Katepa, the Managing Director of CECA.

Engr. Katepa further challenged Malami and Xerxes to tell the public if it brought any fund in the acquisition of AEDC.

“Ambassador Shehu Malami failed to address the central issue which remains that he and his organisation are claiming shares for which they have failed to pay and show no capacity to pay.

“In recognition of its failure to pay its share of the acquisition cost in 2013, Xerxes even pledged to CECA, as security, half of its equity share in KANN.

At the time, the arrangement was expected to be cured within 120 days, during which time Xerxes was to source its contribution and pay its share. As we speak, Malami has not paid, yet is denying us the right to that majority equity stake,” Katepa noted.

CECA insisted that having goodwill does not translate to financing the acquisition of the power utility firm.

“We will not be driven into silence for exercising our rights in steering the affairs of AEDC to improving the power supply experience of our esteemed customers,” Engr. Katepa concluded.

Reacting, Amb. Malami in another statement blamed CECA for not agreeing to reconciliatory terms.

He said, “Rather than signing reconciliation agreement reached when the AGF appointed the BPE to reconcile the shareholders disputes between both parties, CECA failed to do that and instead wrote to the BPE saying that it was more interested in registering the spurious arbitration award obtained from London.”

Malami said CECA was not interested in being repaid but rather to illegally dispossess its local partners.

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