No fewer than 30MW of power will be added to the national grid to benefit Kaduna State industrial area and its environs, the Federal Government has said.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, made this known when the ministry signed the Gurara Concession Agreement with the North-South Power Company Ltd. in Abuja on Wednesday.
Adamu said that the present administration saw the opportunity for private sector involvement in improving water resources infrastructure and hydropower generation.
According to him, the agreement has helped the ministry to fine tune its process of concession toward transparency.
He commended the efforts of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) for spearheading the process.
Adamu said that the ministry was hopeful that when the National Water Resources Bill was passed into law, it would help to improve the full potential of the sector in line with the present administration’s target of diversification and economic growth.
“I am also glad that ICRC has taken note of the fact that the process of the concession is to streamline things going forward.
“What we have done today will enable us to move to the next step because we still have other projects to concession.
“We have more dams under concession, a few of them have hydropower components in them and we are also looking at other aspects of water resources, we have potential for PPP, irrigation, aquaculture, water supply.
“Once we get our water resources bill passed into law and we get a proper regulatory framework. It’s quite exciting and I think it’s a new day and new dawn for the water resources sector,” he said.
The minister said that the ministry was in the process of concession of six mini hydro dams, noting that the process was being handled in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Power.
“What we usually have in the ministry are mini hydros, some as small as two megawatts, we have already been in the process to concession about six of them in collaboration with the ministry of power.
“That process is being handled by the ministry of power, we also have potential in Kiri Dam, Tiga and Challawa Gorge in Kano, which are being financed by the Kano state government,” he said.
He said that the ministry had options of cancelling some of its projects which had no prospects, adding that this was better as government could no longer invest in projects that would not benefit the citizens.
Mr Chidi Izuwah, the ICRC Director-General said the Gurara power plant was completed and sat idle for years, noting that with the partnership and concession, the overall benefit would reach the people and also create jobs for the youth.
He said that there was the need for all ministries, departments and agencies to partner with the private sector to address the country’s infrastructural deficit.
“What this concession will do is that it will unleashed the opportunity of the Gurara Dam in terms of power and there are other opportunities, just like what the minister said about Dadinkowa, it is 40 MW of power; it is finished; it is a concession; it is the first on-grid power plant in Nigeria.
“That shows you the power of PPP and President’s determination to partner with the private sector because government doesn’t have the resources anymore.
“So, it is extremely very important that we work assiduously, all MDAs to partner with the private sector to address our infrastructure deficit,” he said.
Mr Benson Ajisegiri, the Director, Water Supply and PPP with the ministry, noted that the concessions signaled the end of the financial issues due to the concession of the Gurara hydro power plant.
He said with an additional 30 MW of hydropower supplied directly to Kaduna industrial area, the process would boost the industrialisation processes and diversification.
“The power plant is ready, it has been completed, the transmission line is ready and completed but there is a small portion of the connection in Kaduna that needs to be tidied up.
“That is why the minister has given a marching order that this should be done as soon as possible so that we will be able to release the 30MW to the people.”