Six months after the government resolved the dispute between Interstate Electric, owners of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, (EEDC) and Geometric Power Limited over the ownership of Aba Power Project, in favour of the latter, fluctuating foreign exchange may have slowed down the expected take off of the project.
Information gathered from Vanguard from a very reliable sources that part of the agreement brokered by Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, was that Geometric should pay Interstate the sum of USD26 million claimed to have been spent in Aba since the acquisition of the geographical area covered by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company.
Sources told Vanguard that though no single equipment has been installed, nor the old ones changed in Aba since the acquisition, Geometric agreed to pay the sum so as to facilitate the take-off of the project.
However, about 40 percent of the payment was said to have been made at the exchange rate of N197/ USD1 before the new flexible foreign exchange regime which crashed Naira to N320/ USD1 came into effect.
The situation has so far compounded by monthly USD3 million bank loan repayment obligation of Geometric Power, which had spent about USD520 million on the project.
According to one of the sources, “The non take off of the project means that Aba and its environs, regarded as the industrial and technological hub of Nigeria, will continue to be at the mercy of the unreliable power supply being experienced in the South East in particular and Nigeria in general.”