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Old July 2nd, 2010, 08:30 PM   #1
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FG approves construction of Zungeru Hydro power plant.

The Federal Government has approved the construction of Zungeru Dam Hydro Power Plant in Niger State as part of deliberate effort to bolster power supply in the country.

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The power plant is expected to generate 32 megawatts of electricity, which would be fed into the national grid, according to Vice-President Namadi Sambo.

Sambo disclosed this yesterday when he received in audience in his office the Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Obadiah Ando.

He said that the Federal Government was concerned with and committed to providing power to Nigerians within the shortest possible time.

He further said President Goodluck Jonathan was ready to personally commission the hydro power project when completed.

The vice-president spoke against the backdrop of briefings by the minister and some top officials of the ministry on their activities as they relate to the provision of electricity through the utilisation of existing dams for generation.

He called for the construction of multipurpose dams for irrigation and water supply, which according to him, would change and impact positively the lives of the huge population of Nigerians, especially those living in the rural areas, who engage in farming.

He underscored the imperative of urgent completion of all hydro power plants across the country, especially the Gurara Phase II Hydro Power project estimated to generate 30mw.

Sambo said the Dadin-Kowa Hydro Power Plant which is to generate 34mw; the Mambilla and the Kashimbilla power plants expected to come on stream by 2012, which would generate between 150 and 200mw to the national grid also needed to be urgently completed.

For instance, he said the completion of Gurara transmission line and other aspects of the project would provide adequate power to facilitate industrial growth as well as boost gas creation.

He promised to assist the ministry to cut down delays experienced due to bureaucratic bottlenecks caused by government officials.

Sambo particularly decried a situation where funds appropriated by government are not fully utilized for the purpose(s) they were meant to address.

He directed that the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) should be invited for discussions on how to expedite action on projects being executed by the ministry.*

Ando had earlier told the vice-president that by August, this year, a number of the dams such as the Owiwi Dam in Ogun State , would be ready for commissioning.

He said the ministry had requested for the variations of some of the contracts by BPP, pointing out that the agency was responding positively to its request.

Ando also stated that ministry “is about signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ministry of power on the utilisation of dams for electricity generation.”

According to him, “the ministry is focusing on the rehabilitation of existing dams especially the Gurara Phase II; Mambilla Dam and Kashimbilla Dam in Taraba State,” adding that “the report of the Mambila Dam is ready for presentation to government.”

He pointed out that “the ministry is undertaking a tour of all existing dams to ensure their early completion for commissioning by President Jonathan.”However, he hinted that budgetary constraints were posing real threats to the timely execution of the ministry’s projects across the nation.
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