Prof. Barth Nnaji’s Vision: Geometric Power Plant in Aba as Catalyst for Igbo Development and Economic Renaissance

Geometric Power Group’s Chairman, Professor Barth Nnaji, reveals that his commitment to fostering industrial growth in Igbo land and contributing to Nigeria’s development led to the decision to establish the Geometric Power Plant in Aba. Speaking at a leadership colloquium on “Igbo Leadership and Development,” Nnaji emphasized his passion for addressing structural issues faced by Ala Igbo since the Nigerian Civil War.

Nnaji acknowledges that locating the 188-megawatt power plant in Aba, along with the Aba Power distribution firm, may not have been the quickest return on investment compared to more lucrative areas like Ikeja or Lagos. However, he asserts that the strategic importance of supporting development in Ala-Igbo outweighs immediate financial gains. He highlights the potential for Abia State to become a catalyst for a development miracle.

The former Minister of Power reflects on the challenges, including a decade-long legal battle over ownership rights in the Aba-Ringed Fence Area, which impacted financiers, investors, and the community. Nnaji recalls the origins of the project in 2004 when Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Dr. James Wolfohnson recognized Aba’s economic potential, prompting him to consider a 50-megawatt power plant for manufacturers.

Nnaji’s decision to build in Aba stemmed from his firsthand experience with the struggles of industrialists in Igbo land. As a manufacturing engineering professor in the U.S., he faced challenges establishing a plant in Enugu due to inadequate electricity. The offer from Okonjo-Iweala and Wolfohnson aligned with his goal to address the electricity issue in Ala Igbo.

Despite the hardships, Nnaji emphasizes the fulfillment derived from contributing to the region’s progress, drawing parallels with Nnewi’s resilience post-Civil War. In his view, working wholeheartedly for one’s people is unparalleled in satisfaction and fulfillment.