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Nigerian Government Hands Over Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant To Concessionaire

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The Federal Government has officially transferred operations of the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant to a Concessionaire, Penstock Limited.

The move is expected to boost Nigeria’s power generation capacity and contribute significantly to meeting the country’s growing energy demands.

Vice President Kashim Shettima made this known on Tuesday during the maiden meeting of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) for the year 2024 at the State House, Abuja.

According to a release issued on Tuesday by Media Assistant to the Vice President, Stanley Nkwocha, te NCP at the meeting announced significant progress in the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant (ZHPP) concession, including the official transfer of the plant’s operations to Penstock Limited.

The Concession Agreement was signed on December 13, 2023, by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and Penstock Limited.

Following Council approval, the Concessionaire fulfilled its obligation by paying 50 per cent of the commencement fees on January 5, 2024.

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The official handover ceremony took place on January 23, 2024, officially transferring the plant’s operations to Penstock Limited.

Speaking at the meeting, the Vice President hinted of plans by the Federal Government to recapitalize and restructure the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to bolster Nigeria’s agricultural sector and achieve national food security.

Shettima noted the potential of BOA to play a central role in achieving national food security, citing its extensive branch network across all senatorial districts in the country.

He, however, expressed concern about the bank’s current practices, particularly its tendency to disburse unsustainable loans.

The Vice President  advocated modernisation of the BOA, emphasising the need to leverage technology and upgrade branch facilities, urging that embracing modern financial systems would enable the bank to function more effectively and fulfill its vital role in supporting agricultural development.

He further alluded to the potential of the Green Imperative Project, proposing its integration with the BOA’s restructuring plans.

“For me, we can marry the Green Imperative Project while we are going to bring in assorted agricultural machinery. Every farmer should be given a tractor, harvester and other necessary machinery. We can take in the latest advances in science and technology and make it possible to track these items so that divergence can be minimized.

“We have no business being poor. Nigeria must attain national food security. Let us leverage science and technology. There are three or four states that can feed the whole of this country,” the VP said.

Currently, a committee led by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, is finalising a report on the BOA’s recapitalization and restructuring, while key decisions have been made, and further updates are expected soon.

The Council also received updates on the report on the sale of NITEL/MTEL property at Moloney Street, Lagos.

It was noted that efforts are ongoing to evict illegal occupants and resolve the court case on the property.

On the audit of NIPOST properties nationwide, it was noted that the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has provided detailed information to the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, and Postmaster General to assist with the ongoing Postal Sector Reform, facing pushbacks from NIPOST and unions.

On the Federal Mortgage Bank Restructuring, it was noted that the bank’s management has submitted nominations to the Implementation Committee which is expected to commence work shortly.