Niger governor assures on speedy completion of Zungeru power plant
By Ummi Ismaeel,
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello; and the former Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Senator Philip Aduda, have inspected the on-going multi-million Naira Zungeru Hydro Power project, where they also expressed optimisms on its timely completion.
The on-going Zungeru Hydro Power Project, expected to inject 700 Megawatt into Nigeria’s power sector when completed, is the fourth in Nigeria’s major electricity power generating dams in Niger State after Shiroro, Kainji and Jebba.
While Governor Bello expressed optimism that the project would be delivered on scheduled by December 2019, Senator Aduda assured that the Zungeru dam would improve power supply not only in the state but the entire Nigeria when completed in the next 25 months.
Both Governor Bello and Senator Phillip Aduda spoke after an inspection tour of the power plant in Zungeru, in Wushishi Local Government Area of state.
The governor said: “With the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to this project and the pace of work which we have seen today, I am sure the December 2019 deadline for delivery of the plant will be met.
“The level of work now compared to the last time I visited the dam is quiet enormous and encouraging. With what I have seen and the briefs by the consultant, official of Ministry of Power and the contractor, I am sure we are on course and the project will be delivered on schedule”.
The ex-Senate Committee chairman on Power, whose committee midwifed the project during the previous administration, was optimistic that the first turbine of the power plant would be fired by December 2019.
Aduda, who is still a member of the Senate Committee on Power said, “I was here about three months ago and have followed the progress made on this plant. I was the Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, when the project started and I look with nostalgia the tremendous progress made between then and now”.
According to Aduda, “I am convinced that the first turbine of the plant will be fired by December 2019. When we are done with this project, we will inject not less than 700 megawatts of electricity into the national grid and this will go a long way in improving the power sector”.
The Assistant Director in the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Shetima Hassan, and the Project Consultant, Mr. Michel Jubram, had informed Senator Aduda and Governor Bello of progresses made despite some minor challenges.
Meanwhile, the Governor has expressed appreciation to the resettlement and payment of compensation to the affected communities by the federal government just as he assured of plans to put in place a committee to interface between the contractor and host communities with a view to resolving possible differences that may arise in the course of on-going work.
On compensation, Governor Bello said, “We are conscious of the importance of this project not only to our people, but for the nation. That is why we put in place a committee to interface with the communities and the contractors”.
Bello, who told the community of derivable benefits from the Zungeru dam project completion and the need for their cooperation, said, “We don’t want anything that will delay delivery of this project and all hands must be on deck to ensure speedy completion for the project to be delivered on scheduled”.