Prof Nnaji lied when he said that Ikpeazu's Government did not purchase 5% of the share value of Geometric Aba —John Okiyi Kalu | #NwokeukwuMascot

 Opinion 

Geometric:  Facts About Investment of $5m by Abia State Government Under the Watch of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu by JOK | #NwokeukwuMascot 

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I read social media exchanges on the validity or otherwise of the statement that Abia State Government under the watch of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu invested Five Million Dollars (USD 5,000,000.00) representing 5% equity holding in Geometric Power Company Aba and wish to state as follows for the sake of posterity only:


1. I was personally in the Abia State Executive Council meeting Chaired by the then Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu wherein approval was given to the Abia State Ministry of Finance to invest the sum of $5m in the Geometric Power company as payment for 5% equity contribution on behalf of Ndi Abia.


2. As at the time the investment was authorized, Abia State Government insisted on paying the Naira equivalent using the prevailing official exchange rate of N395/$ as agreed with the management of the company. 


3. According to information available to me, the state government was expected to pay N1,975,000,000.00 (One Billion, Nine Hundred and Seventy Five Million Naira Only) to the company as the equivalent of $5m for 5% equity in the project. 


4. As correctly reported in the attached budget performance report, I am aware that the State Government under the leadership of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu actually transferred the sum of N1.42bn to the bank account of Geometric (possibly Stanbic IBTC account) and it was acknowledged by no less a person than Prof Bart Nnaji himself in his capacity as “Chairman/CEO” of the company via an official letter dated 24th August 2022.


5. In that same acknowledgement letter that I was aware of at the time, Prof Nnaji requested for the payment of the balance of N565m to complete the agreed total of N1.975bn representing $5m investment.


6. Among other things, in that acknowledegment letter which was addressed to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu by Prof Bart Nnaji, he appreciated the efforts of the Governor and the “support rendered Geometric Power in ensuring that the Aba IPP project is completed." Obviouosly, Prof was not only speaking to the equity investment but also the focused and unflinching promotion of the company before international investors in Africa including AfDB and AFREXIM Bank that later gave a facility to the company with which they completed the project as well as the amicable resolution of the long standing imbroglio with EEDC.


6. I am not aware of whether or not the balance of N565m was paid to the company but I guess the Commssioner for Finance and/or the Accountant General of the state at that time would know. I am certain of the payment of N1.42bn out of the N1.975bn from the state account. 


7. In the light of the above facts known to me, I am shocked to read that during a recent interview, Prof Bart Nnaji was asked about the $5million investment by the past administration and he reportedly responded that “there is nothing like that”, further claiming that “nobody has given us any dollar."


8. As a citizen of Abia State, I wish to call on Prof Bart  Nnaji to immediately clarify the statement credited to him to the effect that he did not receive in part or whole the agreed equity contribution made by Abia State Government in lieu of 5% share for the people of the state in Geometric Power project at Aba.


9. If I see any written official denial of the above facts stated by me from our respected Prof Bart Nnaji, I will proceed to publish documentary evidence available to me in order to safeguard the interest of our people, after confirming from my lawyers that I will not be breaching any law by doing so. 


10. I wish to also thank fellow Citizen Eke Ako who diligently unearthed the portion of our published 2022 financial performance report showing that the state government actually made the payment of N1.4bn to Geometric Power. It is good for citizens to factually review and share information available in the public space rather than join the “o yes” bandwagon of paid propagandists. If not for anything, the current administration in the state can now diligently follow up and protect our collective investment. 


11. It is also important that while we celebrate the reported commissioning of Geometric Power, Aba, that due acknowledgment be given to Governors T.A. Orji and Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD, for the work they did to ensure that today becomes a reality. It is important  for Prof Nnaji and others to do so in a very public manner. 


Congratulations to Geometric Power Company and Ndi Abia. Hopefully, this will not end up as another “film trick” and our hardworking people will enjoy 24/7 uninterrupted power service.  This project should also bode well for Enyimba Economic City project as originally planned. 


Chief John Okiyi Kalu

Former Commissioner For Trade & Investment, Abia State. 

26/02/2024

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