…Says S’East to become manufacturing hub in 10 years

From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship aspirant in Anambra State and Pro-Chancellor of Olivia University, Burundi Sir Paul Chukwuma has visited Aba Integrated Power Plant to seek technical advice on replicating the same project in the state.

The former National Auditor of APC said that the South East will become a bastion of manufacturing in the next 10 years urging the Governors of the South East to work in synergy to make it a reality.

Chukwuma who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria-Burundi Business Council during the visit to Aba Geometrics Power plant said he was there to understand the working principles and business model of the Power commended the initiator of the project.

He congratulated Prof. Barth Nnaji for a job well done, praising his vision and steadfastness in seeing the project come into fruition, saying that Aba today enjoys steady power supply envious to other states and regions.

According Chukwuma, ” I want to commend you for your commitment and perseverance to this project despite the litany of challenges. It shows unbridled love for nation-building. Staying for 20 years on this project despite the challenging business climate and various commercial litigation is a testimony of your commitment to the progress of Ndigbo and Nigeria.

Related News

“You have done a noble act by providing an empirical proof of concept for others, having set in motion a chain reaction with an enormous positive loop for our country. The effect of this project on the economy of Aba and by extension the South East will be far-reaching. The expectant result is that many businesses will move into Aba to utilise this reliable energy, especially manufacturing businesses. When this happens we expect to see the unemployment rate in Aba and its environs drop alongside youth restiveness.

“As an entrepreneur from Umueri in Anambra state, my visit to your facility partly finds an expression in the biblical invitation to Apostle Paul to come over to Macedonia for help. There is no gain in saying the fact that Anambra is losing its position as a commercial centre due to the absence of reliable energy such that many industries have gone under and the remaining few are struggling to survive. The bold steps you have taken to ensure reliable energy in the ring fence is an indication that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“Against this background, I seek for partnership between your companies and the manufacturing arm of our group of companies. While we may be tempted to seek relocation of some of our ongoing manufacturing installations from Anambra to the Geometrics Power ring fence, we also know that this can be replicated in Anambra state so that many more businesses can benefit and the effects sync with that of Aba to give an ultra boost to commerce in the South East and perhaps, produce the “Asian Miracle” for Nigeria”, he stated.

In his response, Prof Barth Nnaji gave a rundown on the project history, stating that the project took him 20 years to complete due to lots of man-made bottlenecks and that the ideal completion date ought to be three years.

” I began this project in 2004 and by the time I became a Minister in 2011, almost everything was ready. In truth, it was on the strength of what we have done here that I was invited to become a Minister. Various issues came up and the project took two decades to get completed.”

Prof added that the Aba Power consists of three different companies, the companies being the Generating company which generates power and sells to the transmitting company which in return sells to the Distribution company. He further added that the power plant is focused on improving knowledge by employing lots of local staffers who work seamlessly with expatriates from various countries.

Prof Nnaji and his team took Chukwuma, several businessmen and technocrats from Anambra State on a guided tour of the facilities including the Generating plant where the turbines were already roaring