From Magnus Eze, Enugu

Organiser of the forthcoming First Aba Investments, Investors, and Industrialists’ Summit, Akuruo Ulo Media, has raised the alarm that inadequate gas supply to the Geometric Power Plant, Osisioma-Aba, Abia State, may threaten the realisation of the laudable objectives of the initiators of the project.

Vice President Kassim Shettima commissioned the multi-million-dollar 188MW power plant founded by Prof. Barth Nnaji, on February 26 after flagging off the Light Up South East Initiative to accelerate power supply to industrial clusters in the region, in Enugu.

The power plant’s operation depends on a reliable natural gas supply. Geometric has laid a 27km pipeline for this purpose, but the sustainability of this supply is crucial.

Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Aba Investment Summit, Chucks Ibebgu, told Daily Sun that the sharp drop in insecurity in the region coupled with the newly commissioned power plant as well as the massive investment in infrastructural renewal by the Alex Otti-led administration in the state, raised the expectations of industrialists and prospective investors in the commercial city of Aba.

Aba and its environs, that is the Aba Ring Fence will be needing 100MW of power and Geometric has in place a system that can generate 141MW out of the 188MW over all installed capacity.

Ibegbu, whose group in collaboration with World Igbo Business Council (WIBC) is working assiduously to attract investors to Aba, bemoaned that the power plant was merely doing 47MW at the moment due to inadequate gas supply. According to him, this could only serve households while the expected industrial use suffers.

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Consequently, he appealed to authorities at all levels, particularly, the Federal Government to continue its support to the Aba Power outfit, so that it can meet the high expectations of the people.

“We want to use this opportunity to appreciate the Federal Government and Abia State authorities for their immense support for the Geometric project.

“We also wish to thank the Federal Government for the efforts it is making to improve gas supply to the power plant. We understand that right now there are issues affecting adequate gas supply, which in turn is affecting the abilities of the company to meet its obligations to the consumers. We will appreciate it if the authorities concerned will expedite action towards rectifying the problems,” Ibegbu urged.

On the summit, he explained its primary aim was to help in pulling investors back to Aba and invariably see it reclaim its pre-eminent position as one of the leading industrial hubs in Nigeria.

He said: “The summit is majorly geared towards sensitizing and encouraging investors who over the past years were forced by some circumstances to relocate their businesses. We believe that most of the circumstances that triggered the exodus of industrialists and investors are no longer there. In fact, the summit is to let investors understand that there is now an enabling environment for them to operate.

“With the imposing presence and prospects of Geometric, improved security arrangements, and infrastructural facilities, investors don’t have anything to worry about.

“The summit will serve to rally prospective investors, lure back those that left, and showcase the immense potentials of Aba as a destination choice for investors.”