Despite the huge investments translating into trillions of naira, the power plants across the northern parts of Nigeria are predominantly dormant. The Federal Government pursued the quest to ensure that the perennial power challenge is addressed. However, none of these power plants can produce any tangible megawatt to the National Grid, leaving the power problem of the country to worsen. The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) declared that 33,000 Megawatts have to be generated by Nigeria if the country needs a constant electricity supply.
Mr. Sunday Oduntan, ANED Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, said that Nigeria needs to do more in enhancing power generation. In Niger State, the fourth hydroelectric dam is the Zungeru hydroelectric power project. Zungeru hydroelectric power dam is said to produce 700 megawatts capacity of electricity. The construction of the Zungeru hydroelectric power plant was handled by Sinohydro Consortium and the China National Electrical Equipment Corporation (CNEEC). The sum of $1.35 billion investment was used for the project, with an addition of a low-interest loans from Exim Bank and the Nigerian government.
Farming activities will be promoted by the dam.
According to experts, annually, the Zungeru hydroelectric power dam is predicted to produce 2.64 billion kwh of electricity. Abubakar Sani Bello, a former governor of Niger State, stated that the dam would promote farming activities, support irrigation and control floods. The project was called for by the Federal Government of Nigeria under Muhammadu Buhari to be managed for 30 years. Abubakar Aliyu, former Minister of Power, appreciated the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for the completion and sustainability of the project.
He declared that all necessary measures have been taken after the completion of the work at the National Council of Privatization. The delay in constructing the dam into functionality has trashed the hope of people concerning the hydroelectric power dam in Zungeru to generate more electricity. Also, Musa Magaji, Haliru Garba (40), Olaore Joshua (23) and Yusuf Anas (28) were sentenced by the Chief Magistrate Court in Minna to prison for the destruction of cables that supply electricity at the Power Station.
Constant destruction & attack on power lines have been affecting Maiduguri.
There is an uninterrupted supply of power to five indigenous areas in southern Taraba, which includes Ibbi, Wukari, Ussa, Donga and Takum local government areas. Nevertheless, electricity is not supplied to central senatorial and northern zones. Governor Agbu Kefas paid a visit to the power plant and declared his interest to collaborate in using generated power for the development of industrial growth in the state. The former President, Muhammadu Buhari, stated that the aim of the plant construction is to ensure the improvement of lives of the people, economy, uninterrupted and stable power supply in the country.
A resident of Legacy Estate, Abubakar Meri, highlighted that the state used to experience 20 stable hours of power supply before the inauguration. Also, constant destruction and attack on power lines have been affecting Maiduguri and its cities since the announcement of a plan for a gas-powered plant by NNPC as a permanent solution to the constant attacks of Boko Haram. Abubakar Mohammed Kareto, a Maiduguri-based public affairs analyst, called for public scrutiny of the project, with information that the project was not ready for inauguration.
The project will be commissioned in a month’s time.
Dr. Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, the Emir of Katsina, implored the president to complete the projects. The former minister of power pledged to meet with the consultants and contractors that supervised the projects to address the issues that were raised, such as provision of quality infrastructures like power generators, fire extinguishers and scudders. It was said that the project will be commissioned in a month’s time. Amaechi Nwachukwu, an Energy Consultant, declared that the building of power plants is an agenda to siphon government funds.