Speech by the Honorable Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, at the Presidential Commissioning of the Aba Integrated Power Project in the Osisioma Industrial Layout, Aba, Abia State, on Monday, February 26, 2024.

  1. Protocols.
  2. Today is one of my happiest days since I was appointed the Honorable Minister of Power. The Aba Integrated Power Project, which began in 2004, is being commissioned during my tenure as Nigeria’s Minister of Power. The Project is unique because it is integrated and consists basically of the power generation company named Geometric Power Aba Limited, GPAL for short, and APL Electric Company Ltd, APLE for short. Both companies are licensed by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to generate and distribute electricity respectively, within the Aba Ring Fenced Area, which covers 3. nine (9) of the seventeen (17) Local Government Areas in Abia State.
  3. The capacity of the power plant is 188MW, with 141MW fully built and being commissioned today. Any power that the Aba people and businesses cannot absorb will be delivered to the national grid, thus helping with additional electricity supply in various parts of Nigeria. Therefore, the Aba IPP is for all Nigerians, not just the people of Abia State, let alone Aba and its environs.
  4. It is no coincidence that Aba IPP is being inaugurated less than one year after I assumed office as The Honorable Minister of Power. The President Bola Tinubu Administration has always appreciated the knowledge, skills, competence, and patriotism of the founder and chairman of Geometric Power, Professor Bart Nnaji, CON, NNOM, FAS, one of my worthy predecessors. At the retreat held for senior officials shortly after the current Administration came into being in the middle of last year, President Bola Tinubu, GCFR, personally ensured that Professor Nnaji was invited to speak to members of the new federal executive team on how to improve electricity supply throughout Nigeria within a short period significantly. Professor Nnaji was the only former minister so invited.
  5. Secondly, as the presiding Minister, I was recently invited to foster the necessary cordial relationship between APLE and some agencies under my Ministry, making sure that both parties mutually realized their objectives. In my intervention, I was very mindful of the need to encourage a fully Nigerian company and at the same time guide the government agencies on how to be firm and supportive concerning implementing government policies and regulations.
  6. It is regrettable that such an impactful and strategic power project like Aba IPP could be allowed to be in limbo for nine years due to the avoidable manner in which the privatization of the power sector took place. It would not have suffered so long if the Tinubu Administration had been in office earlier. The suffering is now behind us. The future matters more. I assure you that under the President Tinubu administration, we continue to provide a friendly environment to thrive and targeted government assistance to Aba IPP, and other serious-minded power project developers in Nigeria.
  7. As Professor Nnaji and Geometric Power have gone to great lengths to put in place world-class infrastructure, which you find in only a few cities in the world, I would like to appeal to all Nigerians, not just the people of Aba and the environs, to make greater efforts to secure the power infrastructure in our midst. Critical infrastructure has become very expensive to provide, maintain, and replace. Privatization was a way for the government to leverage the enormous funds in the private sector to provide critical infrastructure, therefore, the onus is on every citizen to report to security agents or community leaders vandals who damage infrastructure that benefits the public. My second appeal is also to all Nigerians: pay your electricity bill as and when due. Avoid meter bypassing. Stop the practice of what is known as “hooking up” to steal power. Stop attacking electricity distribution company officials performing their legitimate duties of revenue collection. It is only when you pay for electricity that power companies can remain in business. I am confident that the Aba people will henceforth be more willing to pay for electricity, as there will be a significant improvement in electricity delivery going forward.
  8. Finally, I would like to disclose that the Federal Government will watch the performance of Aba IPP closely. If it succeeds in its mission, we will use it as a business model for a radical improvement of the Nigerian power sector.
  9. Thank you very much for listening.

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