• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Barth Nnaji Unveils The Why Behind $800m Geometric Power Plant In Aba

In a recent leadership colloquium on “Igbo Leadership and Development,” Professor Barth Nnaji, Chairman of Geometric Power Group and former Minister of Power in Nigeria, shed light on the driving force behind the strategic decision to establish the $800 million Geometric Power Plant in Aba.

Nnaji’s passion for contributing to the industrial development of Igbo land, with the aim of catalyzing rapid national progress, took center stage in his explanation. He expressed his commitment to addressing the structural challenges faced by Ala Igbo since the end of the Nigerian Civil War in 1970 and emphasized the region’s vast technological and economic potential.

Speaking at the colloquium, Nnaji stated, “Geometric Power Limited is making its contribution to help reclaim the old economic days of the Great Zik of Africa, Dr. M.I. Okpara, and many others.” He highlighted the potential transformation awaiting Abia State once the electricity challenges in nine out of its 17 local government areas are fully addressed.

While acknowledging that locating the Geometric Power Plant in prime industrial zones like Ikeja, Ilupeju Industrial Estate in Lagos State, Agbara Industrial Layout in Ogun State, or around the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja could have yielded quicker and larger returns, Nnaji stressed the strategic significance of choosing Aba.

Nnaji explained, “Only the investors and promoters of Geometric Power would have benefitted directly, but the people and governments of Ala-Igbo would be the losers.” He emphasized the broader impact on the community, citing the potential loss of a developmental miracle waiting to happen.

The seasoned professor of Manufacturing Engineering traced the roots of the Aba power plant project back to an invitation by former Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and late Dr. James Wolfohnson of the World Bank in 2004. They urged him to consider building a 50-megawatt power plant in Abia to support manufacturers, both large and small, in the region.

Reflecting on his personal journey, Nnaji revealed, “I had experienced, firsthand, what industrialists in Igbo land were going through.” He shared an anecdote of attempting to establish a plant in Emene, Enugu, in the 1990s, emphasizing how the project faltered due to inadequate electricity infrastructure.

Closing his discourse, Nnaji acknowledged the challenges faced in realizing the Geometric Power Plant project since 2004 but asserted, “The game is worth the candle. Nothing can give as much fulfillment and satisfaction as working wholeheartedly for your people.” He drew parallels with the determination of the Nnewi people to develop their hometown despite lacking basic infrastructure after the Nigerian Civil War.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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