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Anambra–EEDC 24hour electricity MoU: Did Emeka Offor deceive Soludo?

DDM Editorial

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It is no secret that the residents of Anambra State have been hoping for a steady power supply to fuel their manufacturing activities, businesses, and homes. This hope has been repeatedly dashed, with many blaming the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) and the previous federal monopolistic energy law that denied state governments and the private sector full participation in power generation and distribution.

Federal Government’s New Energy Law:

In the quest to de-monopolize power generation and supply, President Buhari signed a significant constitutional amendment bill into law in March 2023. This law empowered state governments and the private sector to generate and distribute power within their states.

In February 2024, President Tinubu also signed an amendment electricity bill into law.

Under the new electricity law, state governments can issue licenses to private investors who can build power plants, mini-grids, and distribution networks within their states.

Soludo’s Anambra and Emeka Offor’s EEDC Deal:

While the people of Anambra were waiting for their governor, Professor Soludo, to initiate the domestication of the new energy act and provide a competitive power supply to the state, he announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with his friend, Sir Emeka Offor’s Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), in March 2023, just one month after Buhari signed the de-monopolization of electricity into law.

During the signing of the EEDC MoU in Awka, Soludo stated, “Today, I signed a memorandum of understanding with Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to ensure that power supply in the state is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We must all work together to ensure that we have a stable and continuous power supply in Anambra State.” In the same publication by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Aburime, Sir Emeka Offor was quoted as saying that he is happy to contribute to 24/7 power supply in Anambra State.

One year later, the question remains: where is the promised 24/7 power supply in Anambra State that the MoU with EEDC was meant to provide?

Why did Emeka Offor rush to Awka to sign the MoU within one month of Buhari’s new energy act? Was the Offor/Soludo energy deal meant to give EEDC a monopoly and ban other companies from getting involved, or was it intended to allow others to enter the business?

What Is Expected of Governor Soludo-led Anambra State Government:

In the face of the new energy bill, state governors like Soludo are expected to take the executive bill to the House of Assembly for the domestication of the new federal government act. This would create the Anambra State Energy Law, empowering the state government to issue licenses to private investors for power generation and distribution. The issuance of more licenses, especially in cities like Onitsha Metropolitan, Nnewi, and Awka, would create healthy competition and bring about efficiency.

Governor Soludo is expected to mobilize the private sector through Domestic Direct Investment (DDI) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to domesticate the new energy bill in the state. With its significant industrial and commercial presence, Anambra State requires constant and affordable energy, along with other necessary infrastructure, to sustain businesses and grow the state’s economy. It is not expected that Soludo would bury himself in monopolistic dealings with Emeka Offor’s ineffective and inefficient EEDC.

Former university lecturer, former presidential economic adviser, and former Central Bank Governor, Governor Soludo is well-equipped to make the right decisions, rather than engaging in an EEDC deal that is suspected to have hindered Anambra State’s economy.

In the case of Enugu State, Governor Peter Mba took about two energy bills to the Enugu State House of Assembly and successfully obtained a domesticated energy law as expected after the federal government’s de-monopolization law of the energy sector. This kickstarted the process of domesticating electricity supply in his state.

So, was Emeka Offor able to trick his friend, the Governor of Anambra State, Soludo, into signing the deal? Or was Soludo intentionally sacrificing the state’s economic growth for the sake of friendship? This question begs for an answer.

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