Investors in electricity Generation Companies (GenCos) have called for the federal government’s intervention as they claim host communities halt over 1,400 megawatts (MW) generation in Gbarain and other power plants demanding for supply directly from the GenCos.
Speaking under the Association of Power Generating Companies (APGC), the investors said the host communities in Rivers, Abia states (Alaoji GenCo), Bayelsa (Gbarain GenCo), Ondo (Omotosho GenCo) states and other places where power stations are sited have been giving various threats in spite of the many Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) of the GenCos to them.
The Executive Secretary of APGC, Dr. Joy Ogaji in an exclusive chat on Wednesday said Gbarain GenCo which produces 100MW daily was shut down since September 6, 2018 over the agitation and has lost 1,400MW aside what the other GenCos had lost to the agitations.
“If you know how much a megawatt costs, it is huge and that is just for a power plant. That is not to talk of the injuries and harassment of the staff; the losses are unquantifiable,” Ogaji added.
She said communities near Gbarain GenCo said they must be connected for free noting that she was in a delegation to meet with the leadership of the communities for amicable resolution but failed.
Ogaji said: “Their position is that NEPA in those days promised them free electricity supply but that was in the past and are political speeches which should not be used to hold down investors. It is high time that government intervened because what they are requesting for is unreasonable. They want free power supply.”
The GenCos are calling on the federal government to intervene in both regulatory and policy aspects. “Each state has to call their communities to order because these GenCos only owe the host communities the normal CSR which is not a right but a privilege they must not abuse,” APGC spoke for the affected DisCos.
APGC said the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) is on a contract to quickly build a dedicated power line and a substation in Gbarain community to serve the communities but they must be connected by Port Harcourt Electricity DisCo (DisCo).
“But the communities said they don’t want PHEDC, that they want the power directly and freely from the power plant which is not possible because the GenCo does not have the licence to distribute power,” she stated.