By ODIMMEGWA JOHNPETER , Abuja
MINISTER of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has finally resolved the lingering dispute that has hampered the delivery of electricity in the Aba and Araria axis of Abia State as Geometric Power and Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) have been locked in claims and counter claims of over ownership of assets since the privatization exercise transacted in handing over assets at distribution and generation value chain of electricity supply.
Speaking at the event of formal signing of agreements, the Minister described the occasion as symbolic in the sense that Government has demonstrated the efficacy of common sense prevailing of legality or otherwise.
He said, to the people of Aba what is important is to emphasize the fact that they need more power for the fledging manufacturing concerns, adding that the resolution has further demonstrated to the private sector that there are many more opportunities as many more things are bound to happen in years to come.“Within one Disco it is possible to have more than one actor, portends hope, more opportunities are around the corner”.
Fashola said that Nigerians should realize that primarily, we need to generate more, hence more energy would be required for incremental power generation as directed by Mr. President at the last Economic Summit in which he said the sector should produce additional 2,000MW before the end of the year 2016 He challenged all Nigerians to contribute their quota in solving the problem of insufficient power from top to down in the public interest through collaboration rather than bickering over assets in which past government have sold assets to two different entities. Earlier, in an introductory remark, the Permanent Secretary, Power, Louis Edozien, had commended all those that worked tirelessly in ensuring final resolution of the long-standing dispute between Geometric Power and Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).
Also the representative of EEDC, Adetokunbo Kayode, SAN, commended the doggedness of Government officials, particularly the office of the Vice-President in finding a lasting solution to the crises which is informed by the realization of the importance of power to Nigerians, hence the decision to jettison the courts for co-operation and collaboration. He said “more mutually beneficial business relationship have finally emerged from this resolution”. Prof. Bart Nnaji, of Geometric Power said that a major test in the vision of the private sector driven electricity industry is that its crisis was resolved amicably. He commended the patience, diligence of Government officials who ensured a new style of conflict resolution produced concrete result, “sometimes when you win in court. You will not find peace, but through negotiation you find peace in service of community”, he said.