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FG transfers Zungeru Hydroelectric to concessionaire



The Federal Government on Tuesday transferred the operations of the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant (ZHPP) to a concessionaire, Penstock Ltd.

Vice President Kashim Shettima made the disclosure during the first meeting of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) for the year 2024 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said that the move was expected to boost Nigeria’s power generation capacity and contribute significantly to meeting the country’s growing energy demands.

Our correspondent reports that during the meeting, the NCP announced significant progress in the ZHPP concession, including the official transfer of the plant’s operations to Penstock Limited.

According to the council, the Concession Agreement was signed on Dec. 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 Jan. 5, while the official handover was done on Jan. 23.

Shettima also revealed plans by the Federal Government to recapitalise and restructure the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to bolster Nigeria’s agricultural sector and achieve national food security.

He noted the central role BOA could play in achieving national food security, citing its extensive branch network across all senatorial districts in the country.

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

The Vice President, who advocated for the modernisation of the BOA, emphasised the need to leverage technology and upgrade branch facilities.

He noted that embracing modern financial systems would enable the bank function more effectively and fulfill its role in supporting agricultural development.

Shettima said that with the potential of the Green Imperative Project, it could be integrated into the BOA’s restructuring plans.

“For me, we can marry the Green Imperative Project where 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 diversion can be minimised.

“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.”

NEWSVERGE reports that a committee led by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, is finalising a report on the BOA’s recapitalisation and restructuring.

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

It 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 BPE has provided detailed information to the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy.

It also provided information to the Postmaster General to assist with the ongoing Postal Sector Reform that was 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.

Salisu Sani-idris

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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