Chineme Okafor in Abuja
As part of some of the terms of settlement by Geometrics Power and the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company to end their lingering dispute over ownership of the Aba and Ariaria business units, Geometric may enter into a commercial contract to sell the excess power from its 141 megawatts (MW) plant to the Enugu Disco, THISDAY has learnt.
A statement from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, quoted the minister, Mr. BabatundeFasholato have said that both parties – Geometric,which own the Geometric Aba Integrated Power Plant and Interstates Electric Limited, which operates the Enugu Disco would also withdraw existing court cases they had instituted against each other.
Providing details of the agreement that was signed by former Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji for Geometrics and a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince AdetokunboKayode, the statement said that the parties agreed to a commercial arrangement to settle the dispute.
The statement listed the agreed terms to include: “EEDC, a joint venture of FGN and IEL, will cede the distribution/retail franchise in Aba and Ariaria to FGN and APL while retaining the distribution/retail franchise for the rest of the Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi States.”
“GP will supply power to FGN/APL distribution franchise for Aba and Ariaria. GP and EEDC may also come to a commercial agreement whereby GP will supply power to EEDC to improve services to all EEDC’s customers or targeted ones.
“The parties will withdraw all cases from courts and concentrate on running their businesses and improving services to their customers,” it added.
It further explained that: “Government as the regulator and superintendent of the industry and 40 per cent owner of the distribution franchises, supports the initiative and will take necessary steps to operationalise it, especially through adjustment of EEDC’s operating license to reflect the adjusted franchise area, and transfer of assets in Aba and Ariaria from EEDC to FGN/APL, and perfection of the operating license in Aba and Ariaria for FGN/APL.”
In 2005, the government concessioned Aba and Ariaria as the only security for Geometric to invest in the independent power project instead of the normal sovereign guarantee. The same government however abandoned the concession agreement when in 2013 it unbundled from defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Enugu Disco and sold it including the concessioned units to Interstates Electrics, this subsequently sparked up the dispute that has now been settled out of court.