Promoters of Nigeria’s only electricity integrated company, Geometric Power group, are exemplary Nigerians because of their uncanny patriotism, according to Abia State governor Okezie Ikpeazu.
Governor Ikpeazu was speaking at his 58th birthday colloquium in his country home of Umuobiakwa in Obingwa Local Government Area.
Only outstanding patriots who are development oriented can bring home almost $600m in investment at a time many other citizens are taking out money from the country to invest overseas or to keep in foreign banks, said the governor.
Geometric Power located both its 188megawatt plant and Aba Power distribution company in Aba, Abia State, commonly referred to as the Taiwan of Africa because of its prominent role in Nigeria’s indigenous manufacturing.
“Once the 27-kilometre gas pipeline from Owaza in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State is completed and the plant commissioned, it will be a game changer in not just Abia State, whose nine out of its 17 LGAs are already being serviced by Aba Power Limited, but also the whole country because the rest of the country will have more power freed from our dear state”.
Dr Ikpeazu said that the world-class electricity business speared by Geometric Power led by Professor Bart Nnaji, a former Minister of Power, would cause other power generation and distribution companies in Nigeria to raise their service standards.
He explained that it was in recognition of the positively disruptive role which Geometric Power group “is bound to play in the country’s development that made me support it without reservations”.
The governor observed that if not for the world-class electricity from Geometric Power, manufacturing firms like Nemeith, based in Ikeja, Lagos State, would not have decided to establish plants in Aba.
“In fact, the multi-billion naira Enyimba Economic City being developed between Aba and Port Harcourt in Rivers State would not have started but for geometric Power”, he declared.
“Enyimba Economic City is another transformational project because it is designed to replicate in Nigeria a place like Shanghai City which has been playing a crucial part in China’s stunning transformation within a few years”, stated the governor.
“I am proud I was in Egypt last February to witness the $50m credit facility signing ceremony between AfriExim Bank and Geometric Power.
“I was surprised that the AfriExim Bank was providing facilities to firms in different countries, but none to Nigerian firms except the one coming to Geometric Power whose operations are in Abia State”.
Dr Ikpeazu, therefore, urged other Nigerian firms to raise their business standards to global levels so that they, too, could benefit from long-term facilities from international lenders as Geometric Power has done.
The governor, who is leaving office next May after eight years, said that his major legacies would include Geometric Power group’s takeoff and Enyimba City’s development, “and not roads and flyovers.
“We are keenly interested in multi-billion naira projects that can create critical jobs and business opportunities for our people, so that they do not have to leave the Southeast and South-south in their millions in search of better living standards.”
Both Professor Nnaji and Mr Darl Uzu, chairman of Enyimba Economic City, took part in the colloquium and took time to explain the vision behind each of the projects.
The colloquium, which was on scientific leadership for the transformation of Igboland, was chaired by Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, president of the Nigerian Society of Pharmacists and a former chief executive of Neimeth Pharmaceutical plc.
In attendance were former Senate President Adolph Wabara, Senator Ohuabunwa, Abia State University Vice Chancellor Onyemaechi Ogbulu,veteran journalist, columnist and cofounder Newswatch Magazine Ray Ekpu among other prominent persons from Abia State.
As the colloquium was coming to an end, Governor Nyesom Wike of the Rivers State arrived and drove straight to Dr Ikpeazu’s private residence.