The Nigerian government has stated that the Zungeru and Kashimbila Hydropower projects will be completed by December 2021.
The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, made the disclosure on Tuesday while appearing before the Senate Committee on Power, to defend his ministry’s 2022 budget estimates.
The minister, however, stated that this year’s poor rainfall to power the turbines of the important hydropower project could hinder it from supplying the forecasted 700 megawatts of electricity after it is commissioned.
Aliyu pointed out that the rising security challenges in Niger State could stop the multi-billion naira power project from being inaugurated in December.
He stated further that workers who would operate the facility can only relocate to the location and live there if their security was guaranteed.
He stated that the 40 megawatts Kashimbila power project would commence operation after it is commissioned in the second week of December.
He noted that the Nigerian government had paid the =N=10billion owed contractors and that everything was in place for the take-off of the project.
The Mabilla power project according to the Minister, was stalled because of legal issues which the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami was currently handling.
“The problem with the take-off of the Mabilla power project is the legal issues surrounding it which the Minister of Justice is currently handling. It is only the Minister of Justice that can speak on such a high-profile legal case.
“We have scheduled the Zungeru hydropower project for inauguration in December 2021. We have met with the contractors recently and they are looking at December, not on the horizon.
“Perhaps the inauguration could be extended to one or two months into 2022. I, however, told them that we would stick to the December deadline. So, we are still working with the December deadline”.