• Monday, April 22, 2024
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Geometric: 9 Abia LGAs- ‘A people who sat in darkness have seen light’

Geometric: 9 Abia LGAs- ‘A people who sat in darkness have seen light’

Since the return of Nigeria to civil rule in 1999, no state has been more on the lips of Nigerians than Abia when they want to cite example of a badly run state.

People have always talked about the poor governance of the state and the alleged plundering of the state’s resources.

The coming of  Geometric Power in the state may have begun to change the narrative alongside some of the positive steps that the current government in the state may have taken so far.

The story of electricity in the entire state, particularly Aba, the state’s commercial nerve centre, had been as pathetic as governance itself.

Before the advent of Geometric, many businesses that depended on power for production had either died outright, atrophied or in the process of doing so.

The state’s 17 local government areas were languishing in perpetual darkness as though they were still in the Stone Age.

A few communities that enjoy electricity today were by self-effort and also those who went the solar energy way.

By the commissioning of the Geometric Power on Monday, February 26, 24, nine local government areas that hitherto sat in darkness have now seen light.

Theirs is the case of the biblical saying that “The land of Zebulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people which sat in darkness saw great light and to them that sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up,” (Matthew 4: 15,16 KJV).

By extension, these nine Local Government areas- Aba South, Aba North, Osisioma Ngwa, Obingwa, Ugwunagbo, Ukwa East, Ukwa West, Isiala-Ngwa South and Isiala-Ngwa North- that had over the years sat in darkness, now, collectively make up the Aba Ring-fenced Area where GPAL in charge of producing and distributing electricity 24/7 at the fulness of time.

Some of the local government areas are agric-dependent, while the economy of others is commerce/manufacturing-based.

Whether agriculture-dependent or commerce-based, Geometric has come to change what has been a negative narrative, where the people had been in perpetual darkness and misery.

Consumers must pay their bills to sustain operation – Udeigbo

Alphonsus Udeigbo, chairman, Abia State Market Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA), said that the inauguration of Geometric Power would mark a new dawn in the country in Aba, where electricity is rarely available, and Abia State at large.

Udeigbo, who is also president general, Aba Landlords Protection and Development Association (ALPANDA), urged consumers and Aba residents to support the Aba Power Limited and Geometric Power by paying their bills as and when due and would not bypass the electricity company.

“Every human being must try in their own capacity to support Aba Power/Geometric by paying their bills as and when due; by not trying to cheat the Aba Power or try to bypass. Aba Power on their own must go home and flush out bad eggs among them sub-changing them. They have to set up task force- Operation Show Your Bill Payment. People must show evidence of their payment for their power consumption,” Udeigbo said.

A glimpse into the nine lucky LGAs

Aba South

The economy of Aba South, which is primarily commerce-based. It is a business area where the New Market on Ngwa Road is located. The people desperately need constant power (electricity) to do better in their business. For years, the people have groaned under the weight of losses arising from epileptic or no power supply at all. It is a heavily populated area because of the attraction to township life. According to the last census, the population was 427,421. It has a total area of 89 km2 (34 square miles).

Aba North villages

Aba North Local government area is home to the popular Ariaria International Market which is one of Africa’s biggest markets. The economic mainstay is commerce. Players in the big market in the area have over the years lamented the dearth of amenities that could boost their businesses. They have groaned over deplorable roads and perennial blackouts. Their population is 106,844 according to 2006 census.

It has a total of 23 km2 (9 square miles)

Osisioma Ngwa

Agriculture is the major occupation of the people of Osisioma Ngwa. They are mostly subsistence farmers and grow Cassava, Oil Palm, Rafia Palm, Vegetable, Ube (Local Pear), Plantain, Okra, Maize, melon, red pepper, yam, and cocoa yam. Some people rear animals such as goats, sheep, fowl and occasionally cattle, but largely don’t grow crops or rear animals in commercial quantity.

Their population at the time of the 2006 census was 219,632.

Obingwa

The economy of Obingwa Local Government Area is heavily reliant on trade, and the region is home to various markets where a wide range of goods are bought and sold, including the Ehere Modern market. Major crops found in the area are yam, cassava and cocoyam. Vegetables are also cultivated in abundance. Farming is another economic life wire of the people. The local government has an area of 395 km2 and a population of 181,439 according to the 2006 census.

Ugwunagbo

The local government has an area of 108 km2 and a population of 97,710 at the 2011 census. The people depend primarily on farming. It supplies farm produce like yam, maize, cocoa, and palm oil to Aba and environs. Ugwunagbo also has little deposit of crude oil which can be found in Obuzo.

Ukwa East

Farming is the major occupation of the people. They are also into trade, animal husbandry, fishing and wood carving. The local government is very strong on economic activities as it is popularly known for weaving the well-known Akwete Cloth. Little crude oil is also found in Ukwa East. It has a population of 83,865 according to the last census.

Ukwa West

The local government is popular for its economic contribution to the state and the country in general. It is the only crude oil producing area in Abia State. Its oil-producing communities include: Owaza, Uzuaku, Umuokwor, Umuahala and Umuorie, amongst others.

Despite its significant contribution to the economy, most of its communities and wards are lacking the basic amenities, such as good roads, electricity, good health centres and schools. In this local government, there exist economic hubs in almost all the towns.Asa people, who are predominantly farmers, practise subsistence agriculture, being the major practice, while small form of commercial farming is also done. The main crop farmed in this area is cassava, which is processed into garri like in other LGAs across the state. The garri is consumed at home and some also sold in markets. The second important food crop is yam, while other crops like groundnut, maize, and plantain are commonly farmed. Animals are also reared in this area, with goat and chicken being the most common. The council area has a population of 88, 555 according to the last census.

Isi Ala Ngwa North

Isiala-Ngwa North is mostly an agrarian society, and the LGA grows a variety of crops for consumption as well as revenue generation. The LGA hosts marketplaces including the Ariaria, Ahiaeketa, Ntigha markets, where a range of commodities are bought and sold, demonstrating the region’s thriving trade. Population is 153,734.

Isiala Ngwa South

This local government area with headquarters at Omoba used to be a railway town until recently. It is about 22 kilometres away from Aba. The economy of the area is agric-based as the people are traditionally farmers. They grow different crops ranging from cassava, yam, cocoyam, among many others. They also produce palm oil in commercial quantity. Some of their palm produces are sold in local markets within their areas, while some are sold in towns and cities around them. The local government area has a population of 134,762 according to the 2006 census. It stretches across 100 sq mi (258 km2). Most of the villages in the area are perpetually in darkness as there is no state presence in them.