This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Ohaneze Meets Jonathan Over Aba Power Project, Others

The socio-cultural organisation of the people of the South-east geopolitical zone, Ohaneze Ndigbo, has asked the Federal Government to wade into the stalling of the Aba power project in order to fast track its completion and ensure that the people of the region benefit from it.

President of the association, Prof. Anya O. Anya, who led members of the group to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, told journalists that the thrust of their meeting was the Aba power project and other developmental matters.

These according to him, include roads construction and rehabilitation and upgrading of the railway networks linking the South with the northern part of the country.

Last year, before his exit, the former Minister of Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji, had pledged that the Aba 140 megawatts (MW) independent power project (IPP) being constructed by Geometric Power Systems Limited, would soon commence operation.

He also stated that the company was planning expansion of the project by additional 48mw by 2013, adding that this would be extended to 688mw by 2014 or early of 2015.

The late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua performed the foundation laying ceremony of the project in November 2007 at Osisioma in Aba, Abia State.

Geometric Power Limited had clinched the contract to construct a model power plant in Aba in May 2006, but since then, the project is yet to materialise.

Although Anya did not disclose what his group thought stalled the project, he stated that their fear is that it may not be completed as a result of the alteration of the terms of contract.

Explaining that the president has assured them that the terms of contract will not be breached, Anya said: "We wanted to be sure that there is no modification to the issue of the Aba Power Project in terms of the agreements reached and changed to destabilise the company and investors because that project is ready in the next three months to be finished," he said.

He added that: "So, when you start tempering with a project that is being finished, you are saying that perhaps in the next three years nothing will happen. And we don't want that to happen. Not in the area of power. And Mr. President has assured us. And he anticipated us before we came and had a thorough study of everything that we were going to raise. The Attorney General was there. The DG BPP was there and all those who had a role to play were there. We are quite satisfied."

He commended the president for his giant strides in developing the nation saying: "If Nigerians got to know that the responsiveness of Mr. President is like this, may be people will recognise that perhaps a lot more is being done, because I must confess that most of the things we were told were ongoing, we didn't know were there. So, there is a need to be a lot more flow of information between we the governed and those who govern us."

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