Industrialists in Aba, Abia State, have flayed the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) for disconnecting the commercial and industrial city from the National Grid.
Aba Power Limited was disconnected from the national grid last Friday by the TCN over an alleged N896 million debt owed as fees to government agencies in the power sector.
The disconnection has paralysed socioeconomic life in Abia State, adversely affecting the security apparatuses that depend on constant electricity for effective operations, as well as hospitals, medical laboratories, factories, and government establishments.
But rising in defence of the Aba Power Limited after an emergency meeting of its executive committee held yesterday in the city, the Association of Indigenous Manufacturers in Aba (AIMA) noted that “Aba Power has been behaving most responsibly, as it has since last September raised power supply to the Aba Ringfence from 25 megawatts to 80MW in February, paid N500 million to the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) last month, N50 million to the Market Operator the same month, constructed 1,500 kilometres of overhead wires, built four new brand substations, refurbished three old ones inherited from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, built world-class tunular poles, and brought back two of its three General Electric turbines for power generation from Texas in the United States where they have gone for scheduled retrofitting”.
Chairman of the indigenous manufacturers, Dr Gregory Nwankwo, who spoke on behalf of the group, hailed Geometric Power, the Aba Power parent company, for building the 188-megawatt power plant in Osisiona Industrial Layout to supply electricity to Aba power which will be commissioned within two months.
“It is difficult to process why Aba Power, Nigeria’s 12th and newest electricity distribution firm which began operations only last year, was selected for this treatment whereas the older ones that commenced operations in 2013 and owe much higher amounts, despite huge federal government’s subsidies, are still receiving supplies.
“The TCN operates the sole transmission network in the country and should show a greater sense of responsibility in discharging its duties, all the more so given the fact that it is a federal government enterprise and the fact that electricity is vital for our very existence in the modern age,” Nwankwo explained.