Posted by News Express | 26 May 2014 | 4,965 times
Nigeria’s Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo, has been implicated in an evil plot to frustrate the project of former Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji aimed to guarantee 24-hour power supply to Aba, the economic hub of Abia State in South-East Nigeria.
A report this morning in the Lagos-based BusinessDay spoke of how vested interests, in which Sambo features prominently, “conspired to consign Aba to darkness by killing Geometric Power” promoted by Prof. Nnaji, who was frustrated out of office as minister in August 2012.
BusinessDay lambasted Sir Emeka Offor’s Interstate Electrics, owner of Enugu Distribution Company, for its continued attempt to deceive the public by blaming the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) for the sabotaging of Porf. Nnaji’s Geometric Power.
Interstate Electrics had in an advertorial in Daily Sun of May 20, 2014 accepted that it does not have right over Aba ring-fenced area, stating that “there is no plan and has never been any plan to prevent or stop the work of Geometrics or Aba Power to the ring-fenced residential and commercial consumers in Aba, Abia State.”
The advertorial further averred that the NCP and BPE should be held responsible for not delineating the Aba ring-fenced area.
The advertorial, according to BusinessDay, amounts to double-speak and a deliberate effort to deceive and mislead the public.
Earlier investigations by BusinessDay had revealed how Interstate Electrics stopped Geometric Power and Aba Power from completing some of the rehabilitation works on the PHCN sub-stations in Aba, in addition to stopping the project from being commissioned.
“Interstate Electrics’ claims also runs contrary to its submission to the Peace Committee set up by the NCP to resolve the differences and problems encountered by Geometric in its quest to light up Aba,” the paper said, adding:
“In its submission to the committee, Interstate had asserted that Aba Power had not made any investment in distribution network in the ring-fenced area, which the panel disagreed with.
Interstate also claimed that isolating Aba would present it with difficulty in reaching contiguous areas with Aba, such as Ukwa and Obehie, which are boundary towns with neighbouring Discos. The panel also disagreed.”
BusinessDay quoted sources in the Presidency as saying that it is safe for Interstate Electrics to pass the buck to NCP and BPE, knowing that having pocketed the two parastatals through its benefactor, Vice President Namadi Sambo, no action would be taken.
“The situation is compounded by continuous pulling of the wool over a hapless president’s eyes, citing administrative errors for continued frustration of Geometric’s quest to power eastern Nigeria’s industrial hub of Aba, a city of 2 million people, with its 140-megawatts power plant,” the paper said.
It quoted said an industry analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying: “One would have thought that given the precarious state of power supply in the country, any independent power plant that is ready to supply electricity would be immediately given the green light by government.
“Ordinarily, Geometric should be commended and encouraged by allowing the plant to come on stream and service the people of Aba, but politics has not allowed this to happen. The factors that played themselves out before the exit of Barth Nnaji are the ones still militating against the commissioning of the Aba power plant.”
BusinessDay had in 2013 reported attempts by the Vice President Sambo-led NCP to bend the rules of the privatisation of PHCN successor companies when Interstate Electrics failed to meet the August 21 deadline for the payment of the remaining 75 percent of the bid value.
The company, Interstate Electrics, was said to have lobbied the NCP and BPE to get them to grant it an extension to pay for the asset, for which industry analysts said there was no moral justification when investors in a similar position were shut out at the preliminary stages in the same privatisation exercise.
After successfully executing the 22MW emergency power station for Abuja to serve a dedicated distribution network within the Federal Capital Territory, Geometric, an embedded generation company, was inspired to initiate the Aba Integrated Power Project Limited, a distribution company.
In 2004, Geometric Power signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Federal Government to build a power plant in Aba and a year later, in April 2005, Geometric signed the Aba concession agreement, also with the Federal Government, which gave it the right to distribute power to Aba. By the terms of the agreement, NEPA assigned its right to distribute electric power in the ring-fenced island of Owerrinta, Osisioma, Ogbor Hill, Factory Road and Port Harcourt Road in Aba to Geometric and also leased its distribution facilities within the contract area to the firm.
The disregard of the agreement ceding Aba ring-fence to Geometric has already cast the Federal Government in bad light amongst the international community and investors, our sources say.
•Photo shows Vice President Namadi Sambo.
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