- …seeks support of stakeholders to succeed
Bart Nnaji, chairman, Geometric Power Limited, the foremost independent electricity generation firm in Nigeria, has stated that the firm’s investment in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State is to support manufacturing, through provision of enduring electricity supply.
Nnaji, made the assertion in Aba, during a town-hall meeting between Aba Power Limited (APL), the distribution (DISCO) arm of Geometric Power Group and Aba Landlords Protection and Development Association (ALPADA), a feedback mechanism of APL.
He appealed to the residents to pay their approved electricity bills to enable the company to sustain improved supply, as it is currently buying electricity power that it is currently distributing to consumers.
Nnaji, also pleaded with the stakeholders to assist the DISCO to identify electricity consumers that do not pay their bills, and those that tap lights illegally in their neighborhoods.
According to him, “We utilize 30 million cubits of gas daily and pay as much as $2.2 million, which is about N1.5 billion monthly and most consumers are not paying for electricity supplied.
“That’s why we want to partner with you to get a reliable power supply. Support and take our message to your people to stop the illegal connection”.
Nnaji, a former minister of Power, begged the landlords to help APL by monitoring and ensuring that their tenants and other residents comply with laid down regulations, while enjoying electricity.
APL, a distribution company in charge of the Aba Ring fence that comprises nine Local Government Areas of Abia State, were at the meeting to brief stakeholders on progress so far made in providing constant power supply in Aba as well as address their concerns.
Nnaji, expressed worries that barely six months (September 2022 to February 2023) that it took over electricity distribution in Aba, that the company is owed a whooping sum of N4.2 billion, by consumers.
The above situation he said is not good and have resulted in load shedding instead of an increase in supply, stressing that APL is still buying energy from suppliers, but hopes to switch-on its gas-powered power-generating engines in the next quarter to achieve the status of both generation and distribution.
Ike Alozie, APL’s chief financial officer, stated that the company has in the last six months, collected less amount than what it spent in purchasing power, noting that people were stealing electricity, and urged the stakeholders to expose such culprits.
Canice Obi, chief operations officer,in his remark, said that power supply situation in the Aba Ring-fence area, will improve within the next three months, when the Geometric Power plant would have been commissioned.
“We are poised to give you premium service. Our distribution services will improve. In the next three months, we will ask you to throw away your generators.
“So, we want you to reciprocate our gesture, by monitoring the activities of your tenants and advising them appropriately”.
Alphonsus Udeigbo, president general, ALPADA, tasked the top management of Geometric/Aba Power, to caution their staff to always issue appropriate tariff for electricity consumed and eliminate estimated bills, which he said was illegal and unacceptable to Aba energy power users.
“Aba customers are ready to work with you. Give us tariff based on power consumed and not estimated tariff.
“We want you to be transparent in your dealings with us, or we will not fail to seek redress in the courts or report to government authorities. Just, give us actual tariff for electricity we consumed and provide meters to all those that do not have”.