Electricity: Chamber of Commerce urges Soludo to give details of MoU with EEDC

The Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ONICCIMA) has urged Governor Charles Soludo to explain details of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), on 24-hour power supply in Anambra State.

Mr Soludo, on 25 March, signed an MoU between the state government and the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to ensure that power supply in the state was available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

The chamber’s president, Kevin Obieri, called for the clarification in a statement made available to reporters on Monday.

Mr Obieri stated that the chamber was concerned that there was no detailed information regarding the MoU and its broad implications for the business community in Onitsha and the entire state.

He lamented that there was no information on when the partnership would commence and whether the projections were in a month, a year’s time or towards the end of the administration’s tenure.

“While the chamber continues to support Governor Soludo’s developmental strides in the state, we strongly feel that the government should do well to sensitise the business community to the MoU.

“Beyond payment of bills by users, are there other cost implications? If any, will the cost be borne by the state or wholly transferred to the public or subsidised?

“If the cost 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 a struggling economy, businesses trying to stay afloat and people living on a knife’s edge, it will help that people are aware of the full details of the MoU so that necessary adjustments can be made,” he said.

Questions begging for answers

Mr Obieri stated that as of 21 March, 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 region.

“The obvious question then is, how feasible is the provision of 24/7 electricity when the allocation to EEDC is quite minute to satisfy the whole of South-east?

“Even experts have insisted that the South-east requires a minimum of 10,000 megawatts of electricity for a steady power supply.

“More critical is that EEDC is only a distribution company, not a generation company and can only distribute what is released to it by the GENCOS.

“They cannot control or guarantee a 24/7 power supply. These are many questions begging for answers here,” he said.

The Chamber’s president said a steady electricity supply in Anambra was the single most critical factor to kick-start and galvanise the much-publicised industrialisation of the state.

According to him, steady electricity will transform the economic equation of businesses and boost the disposable income of the citizenry while propelling the revenue generation capacity of the state.

“This is why every pronouncement regarding achieving this laudable aim must be well considered while any impediment to the realisation of this objective must be addressed quickly.

“To this end, the business community as well as the general public await to hear a well-articulated process flow and details of the MoU signed on their behalf to dispel needless speculations and rumours.

“We hope that the state government, through the relevant ministries, will expand its sensitisation and awareness campaign on this critical agreement,” Mr Obieri stated.

(NAN)

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