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BREAKING….Aftermath of Enugu Guber: Barth Nnaji in Trouble as Aba Residents Threaten Mass Protest Against Geometric Power

*Accuse company of cutting to fund Edeoga, other candidates

By Kenneth Agozie

In the aftermath of the 2023 Enugu gubernatorial election, a Labour Party chieftain and major funder of the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the state, Prof. Barth Nnaji, is having a running battle with the residents of Aba, Abia State, following the worsening power situation in the Enyimba City.

The Joint Action Group (JAG) on Power, Aba, has accused the Aba Power Limited (APL) aka Geometric founded by Prof. Nnaji of a worsening case of continually depriving customers of power supply while forcing them to pay highly inflated estimated bills.

There are anxieties that Nnaji must have expended the monies that should have been used to bolster the electricity infrastructure on the Enugu elections where it was gathered he was also the financier of many House of Assembly and National Assembly candidates in addition to the LP gubernatorial candidate, Hon. Chijioke Edeoga.

The Secretary of JAG, a body that represents many residents and business stakeholders, Chief Ike Opigwe disclosed this during a Press Conference with members of the Aba Federated Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists.

AbaCityBlog reports that when the complaints from residents got out of hand, Aba NUJ contacted Opigwe, who revealed that information from Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc. showed that Geometric is under-buying and under-supplying power to increase their profit.

They alleged that Geometric (APL) hardly supply power to their homes and when they do, they would supply in a few hours during the midnights, but only to turn up at the end of the month with bogus estimated bills that are only suitable for factories.

Opigwe said: “There’s an epileptic power supply in Aba right now and cast your mind back to December 2022, you will recall that there was a serious supply of energy everywhere.

“From the middle of January, we started having all these load-shedding. Now, what really happened? Electricity sector has four segments and value chains.

“We have Generation Company of Nigeria (GenCos) that generate the electricity we use; We have the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and also the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc.

“NBET is the manager and administrator of the electricity pool (‘The Pool’) in the Nigerian electricity supply industry (NESI).

“NBET use taxpayers’ money, buy energy and sometimes give it to these DisCos on credit for them to interface with you and collect the money based on the NERC regulations. We equally have the Distribution Companies (DisCos) which are currently 12 in number today.

“You as a Nigerian and a customer have 40% equity in the distribution aspect because government uses taxpayers’ money to buy shares in NBET. That’s why electricity is called Social Commodity. It’s not the DisCos property entirely.

“Records show that APL (Geometric Power Ltd.) has more than 100kwh available for them to buy and share for Aba customers. But they deliberately decided to give epileptic supply, to pay less to the NBET and get higher money through estimated billing”.

Instructively, the timeline of the rapid decline in power supply that Aba residents are bitterly complaining about coincides with the time Nnaji started nursing Enugu governorship ambition, first as an aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and later as a major sponsor of Edeoga, LP’s governorship candidate as well as others.

Meanwhile, Mr Imo Ojukwu, a member of JAG said they interfaced with Geometric management on the reduced 100MW to 25MW supply to Aba, but the mamagement said they had no money to buy energy.

Continuing, Opigwe, on his part, further explained that the four days shutdown APL did in Aba is a crime against the customers because it is completely an act of wrongful disconnection which the company can be made to face the law. He said the regulation made it clear under Customers’ Rights and Obligation that prepaid meters must be first installed before an account would be opened, stressing that it was the duty of the DisCos to distribute prepaid meters to their customers because the meters were their properties, not those of the customers.

“By December 2022, APL/Geometric based on the record from the market operators released 100MW of electricity to Aba customers. That was why Aba enjoyed electricity between December 2022 and early January 2023.

“But by the middle of January, they said they now released only 25MW to the entire Aba. This is why many people are complaining that they now give them light only at midnight when they’re asleep. They believe nobody knows about it and they can do whatever they want and still collect higher money than they got when they released 100kwhs to customers through their attack dogs they call marketers. But I told APL (Geometric) management when we engaged them that we know and have the available records of what happened between December 2022 and today”.

Reacting to the development, a political analyst and economist, Desmond Odoh, said the development in Aba had vindicated his revelations in the article, “Edeoga Gambles: Investors, Lenders Beware”.

“I have been receiving threat messages since my article was published. But these are pretenders because if I did not like Chijioke or more importantly believe in the Nsukka project, I would not have committed my over N100 million to the project.

“But Barth Nnaji, on his part, spent billions of naira, which, as has now been confirmed, came from Geometric Power. We can now see why he doesn’t want to commit more money to Nnia Nwodo and Edeoga’s mandate recovery project through the courts.

Now that he is in trouble, who will rescue him because l know how these Aba people behave. They are very stubborn and have mind if they want to confront you. They’re different from us the Waawa. I pray it doesn’t come to protests.

“But I’m afraid this Edeoga project will ruin a lot more people economically. For instance, it is going to take me a very long time to recover. I really wish I invested even half of that money in the youth of my village”, Odoh lamented.

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