A team of electricity experts from the United States arrived in Aba, the commercial nerve centre of Abia State, yesterday to start work as the technical partner of Aba Power Limited, a member of Geometric Power Limited founded by Professor Bart Nnaji, a former Minister of Power and a globally respected engineer.
The seven experts are from the international arm of the National Rural Electrification Cooperative Association (NRECA), based in Arlington, Virginia, USA.
Formed in 1942, NRECA services over 90 electricity cooperatives across the United States while NRECA International, founded in 1962, has provided electricity to over 160 million people in 43 countries around the globe.
The experts are led by Dr Dan Waddle, the NRECA senior vice president.
“The arrival of this high-quality technical team in Nigeria which will work at the Aba Power Limited for five years is a huge boost to the country’s electric power sector”, said Patrick Umeh, the Aba Power Managing Director who used to be at the Los Angeles Water and Power Corporation in California before joining the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) as a commissioner.
“We are unwavering in our commitment to make Aba Power a truly world-class company in service delivery to nine out of the 17 local government areas in Abia State”.
Umeh explained that the NRECA team “will devote themselves to operations and maintenance at our firm.
“They will also be involved in the training and development of our technical workforce, most of who came from the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).
“They need to update their technical knowledge and skills, just as they need to have new values and a new orientation in terms of service delivery in the 21st century”.
Umeh disclosed that Aba Power Ltd, Nigeria’s newest electricity distribution company, would soon adopt key performance indicators (KPIs) in the contract with NRECA to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that not just the firm but the Nigerian people have full value for their money.
“The contract with NRECA International is by no means cheap”, the APL MD continued, “but no sacrifice can be considered too much for the people of Aba and environs”.
NRECA has for decades been involved in the development of the electric sector in such countries as Bangladesh, Tanzania, Haiti and Venezuala.
“They have a rich experience of not just emerging markets, but also of countries in Africa like Ghana, Ethiopia, Liberia, Angola”, said Umeh.
“Therefore, they will not have any difficulty adapting to our environment”.
The Aba power projected will be commissioned later in the year.