12 November 2012

Nigeria: Former Power Minister's Firm to Begin Power Supply in February

Former power minister Professor Barth Nnaji's electricity company, Geometric Power Ltd, will start supplying power to Aba town, Abia State in February, Daily Trust learnt yesterday.

Nnaji, who resigned as power minister in August under controversial circumstances, had been involved in the building of the Aba plant which is to generate about 188 megawatts. The Presidency had said Nnaji had to go due to conflict of interest in the ongoing privatization exercise in the power sector.

A statement by Nnaji's spokesman yesterday, Mr. C. Don Adinuba, said Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala toured the company's facility in Aba at the weekend and was satisfied with the progress of work.

The statement quoted her as saying, "while other independent power producers (IPPs) seek sovereign guarantees to execute their projects, Nnaji's Geometric has never sought a power purchasing agreement (PPA) from the government. This is because Geometric will sell its power direct to the consumers when it is commissioned next February."

In his remarks, Nnaji observed that the capital-intensive project would have been finished earlier but for inconsistent public policy and the global economic meltdown of 2008 which affected project financiers like the European Investment Bank, Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group.

The $500m project's site was also visited by Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, his Abia State counterpart, Theodore Orji, and a delegation from the National Assembly led by Senator Nkechi Nwogu.

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