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ONICCIMA queries power supply deal between EEDC, Soludo

By Tobi Awodipe
12 April 2023   |   3:22 am
THE Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ONICCIMA) has raised concerns over the recently-signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Anambra State Government and the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to increase power supply in the state.

National Power Grid

The Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ONICCIMA) has raised concerns over the recently-signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Anambra State Government and the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to increase power supply in the state.

Anambra State governor, Charles Chukwuma Soludo, last month, in a series of tweets, informed of the MoU, albeit without details.

ONICCIMA president, Kevin Obieri, in a statement, said while the chamber supports Soludo’s administration, it is concerned with the lack of detailed information regarding the MoU and its broad implications for the business community in the state. He added that the weight of such pronouncement should go beyond social media posts.

Pointing out that there was no information on the timeframe when the partnership will kick off and whether the projections are for a month, a year or towards the end of the governor’s tenure, he urged Soludo to sensitise the business community about his plans.

“Beyond payment of bills by users, are there other cost implications? If any, will the cost be borne by the state or transferred to the public or subsidised? If it is to be borne by the state, what are the implications to the state’s finances, especially as the nation is currently grappling with record inflation? With an economy that is struggling with businesses trying to stay afloat and people living on a knife’s edge, it would help if people are kept abreast of the full details so that necessary adjustments can be made.

“As of March 21, 2023, the total National Power Generation was 4,670 megawatts out of which 365 megawatts was assigned to EEDC, which provides distribution for the whole of the South East. The obvious question then is, how feasible is the provision of 24/7 hours of electricity when the allocation to EEDC is quite minuscule to satisfy the whole of the region, especially when experts insist that South East requires a minimum of 10,000 megawatts of electricity for a steady power supply?” he questioned.

Obieri went on to add that EEDC is only a distribution, not a generation company (GENCO), and could only distribute what is released to it by the GENCOS, hence it is not in control of many other important variables that will guarantee round-the-clock power supply.

“There are many questions begging for answers here, as we know that steady electricity supply in Anambra is the single most critical factor to kick-start and galvanise the much-touted industrialisation of the state, which was the plank upon which this administration campaigned. Its impact will transform the economic equation of businesses as well as boost the disposable income of the citizenry while propelling the revenue generation capacity of the state,” he said.

Obieri said this is why every pronouncement regarding achieving this aim must be well considered, while any impediment to its realisation must be addressed quickly.

“The business community and general public await to hear a well-articulated process flow and details of this MoU signed on their behalf so that needless speculation and rumour-mongering would be nipped in the bud. We hope that the state government, through the relevant ministries will expand its sensitisation and awareness campaign on this critical agreement,” he said.

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