Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ONICCIMA) has urged Gov. Chukwuma Soludo to explain details of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), on 24 hours power supply in Anambra.
On March 25, Soludo signed an MoU between the state government and 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, Chief Kevin Obieri, called for the clarification in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday.
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 Gov. 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.
Obieri stated that as of March 21, 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 Southeast.
“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 Southeast?
“Even experts have insisted that Southeast 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 that a steady electricity supply in Anambra was the single most critical factor to kick-start and galvanize 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 dispell 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, “Obieri stated.