Abuja - The Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has defended the Zungeru power project, insisting that the contract awarded at $1.85 million was not inflated.
The minister made these claims at the inauguration of the Zungeru Community Relations Committee which was meant to fast track the realisation of the project.
The claims come right on the heels of reports that the contract for the project was awarded at an inflated price.
“Let me use the opportunity of this event to address a recent publication in the print media about the purported high cost of the Zungeru project.
“The Zungeru project has a benchmark cost of $1.85 million per installed MW, this is a very competitive price relative to similar projects worldwide,’’ he said.
“In International Renewable Agency (IRENA), similar projects in other parts of the world range between $1.050 million to $7.65 million per MW,’’ he said.
Nebo said that the project, which was inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan in May 2013, stipulated that the first turbine and delivery of power should be ready in 48 months.
He said the inauguration of the Zungeru Community Relations Committee was part of efforts to fast track the realisation of the project and ensured that the host communities affected were properly relocated and compensated.
He said the Federal Government had worked meticulously with professional valuation consultants to conduct enumeration and valuation of persons, properties and economic trees affected by the project.
“The valuation report indicates that a total of 22 100 people, 15 958 farmlands and 6 762 property domiciled in 98 communities will be impacted by the project,’’ he said.
He said the 20-man Committee was expected to coordinate and liaise with Emirate Council on all community issues and compensation to facilitate the timely realisation of the project.
The Chairman of the committee, Isah Jibrin, in his remarks, thanked the minister for the opportunity to serve the nation, and said that the members would be dedicated to the task.
Jibrin said the actualisation of the project, which was abandoned before now, was key to the transformation of the power sector and the improvement of power supply to Nigerians.
He said that the project would also lead to the social economic transformation of the Zungeru Community and Niger State at large.