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The Senate Wants The Planned Concession Of The Zungeru Hydropower Facility To Be Suspended

Senate has requested the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the National Council on Privatization to halt plans to concession of the 700 Mega Watts (MW) Zungeru hydroelectric power plant in Niger.

This came after the plenary meeting on Wednesday, when Sens. Gabriel Susuwam (PDP-Benue) and Abdullahi Yahaya (PDP-Kebbi) adopted a motion.

Abubakar said the plant was the second largest hydroelectric plant in Niger, after Kanji Hydro power station, when he introduced the motion, titled “the need for Senate intervention in the ongoing bid to concession Zungeru hydroelectric power plant in Niger.”

He claimed that 1.3 billion dollars had been originally awarded for the contract in 2013.

He said that the National Assembly had approved billions of naira annually since the plant’s development began, in addition to the sizeable loan the Federal Government had obtained from Exim Bank to pay for it.

He claims that the project received over N43 billion in funding from the 2022 budget and that the administration sought an additional N76.5 billion for the 2023 budget.

He stated that the project was anticipated to be completed within 60 months of the contract’s execution in 2013, but a number of factors have hampered its speed.

He said Senate’s mediation depended on the need to guarantee responsibility for the colossal yearly monetary distributions made to the undertaking over the years,especially on the issue of overseeing agitated outside advances attached to the venture.

He stated that it was necessary to determine whether the Zungeru plant concession that was proposed was an exercise that would guarantee that community-related issues would not arise and that the government would receive the deserved value for its expenditures.

In its motion resolution, the Senate directed its Power Committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the 700 MW power plant’s concession.

It also required the committee to investigate the project’s level of completion, the management of project-related external loans from Chinese Exim Bank, and the fate of host communities in unrest.

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