Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia
The Aba Power Ltd has indenfied the shortage in the electricity supply to consumers within the Aba Ring-fenced Area as a result of an ongoing load shedding in the area.
The incident which was described as a child of circumstances in a statement by the managing director Aba Power Ltd, Engr Patrick Umeh, on Friday, has been on since March 2023.
Umeh, who pointed out that the decline in electricity supply has caused tremendous concern to both the people and Government of Abia State, while apologizing for inconvenience arising from the load shedding.
He explained that since the Geometric Power plant in the Osisioma Industrial Layout in Aba has not been commissioned, Aba Power has been importing electricity from such suppliers as the Niger Delta Power Company.
Umeh also stated that NPDC has cut down its supplies from 80Megawatts to 25MW, thereby reducing the quantum the Ringfence was receiving when Aba Power and Geometric Power took over full management of the Ringfence last September.
The MD revealed that his company is owing NDPC two billion naira while Aba Ringfence consumers owe them N4.2bn.
He insisted that until the Geometric Power plant is commissioned in June this year, Aba Power will continue to rely on electricity from the NPDC which is no longer prepared to grant credit extension.
He lamented that residents and businesses in the Ringfence which compromises of 9 out 17 Local Goverment Areas of Abia State pay only 10 per cent of the power they consume, adding that the load shedding is a child of circumstances.
The statement stated, “Aba Power Ltd is also a victim of the outages because they affect our revenue generation.The quantum of electricity supplied to the Aba Ringfence is commensurate with the amount of money persons, businesses and organisations are willing to pay for electricity consumed.
“Aba Power increased the quantity of supplies from 25MW to 80MW and was in the process of escalating it to 100MW when the Niger Delta Holding Company decided last month to crash supplies on account of a humongous debt which was still growing.
“Rather than pay for power they consume, communities, groups, businesses and individuals in the Aba Ringfence chose to not only owe for several months but engage in power theft, meter bypassing, vandalism against the power distribution infrastructure and assaults against Aba Power staff carrying out their legitimate duties. All this resulted in low revenue generation, compelling the Niger Delta Power Company to drastically curtail supplies.
“The company is owed N2bn while Aba Ringfence consumers owe Aba Power N4.2bn. Until the Geometric Power plant is commissioned in June, Aba Power will continue to rely on electricity from the NPDC which is no longer prepared to grant credit extension. Persons and businesses in the Ringfence pay only 10 per cent of the power they consume. In other words, the load shedding is a child of circumstances.
“Electricity consumers in the Aba Ringfence are implored to pay their bills as and when due. Those who engage in energy theft, meter bypassing, vandalism against power infrastructure and attacks on our staff, as well those who bluntly refuse to meet their monthly obligations to Aba Power are sabotaging the social and economic well-being of the people and Government of Abia State.
“When electricity end users meet their obligations, more power will automatically be available. Electricity business is a value chain. The weakest link affects the entire business gravely.
“Aba Power is ready and enthusiastic to provide constant, quality and affordable electricity. It has invested massively in Abia State to help unleash the immense potential of the people. Let us play our part. Let us end the ongoing load shedding as a result of the refusal to pay for power utilized”.