Wednesday, August 17, 2011

FG approves N19billion compensation for power project in the Country

The Federal Government has approved N19 billion as compensation to be paid for property, crops and land along transmission lines across the country.

The Federal Government had, in the 2007 and 2009 financial year, approved N19 billion for a similar compensation programme, bringing the total to N38 billion.
Briefing journalists at the State House, Abuja, shortly after the meeting of the Board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, which lasted for most ten hours, the governor of Benue state, Gabriel Suswam, alongside the Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi; minister of power, Barth Nnaji and James Olotu, managing director of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) said the additional N19 billion budget approval is to enable the government conclude the necessary payments of compensation on property and lands along the transmission line.

Mr Suswam, who stated that the additional N19billion was requested by the board because the N19 billion earlier approved for the purpose had been exhausted, said the fund this will enable the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to install new power infrastructure in the country.

"As governors we share the concerns because if we have power supply, it will create more employment in my state and we will begin to have cottage industries in villages," he said. "We are very concerned; that is why we constantly fly in here to attend meetings. When President Yar'Adua became President and decided that this Board should be reenergized and life should be introduced into it, gaps were experienced or observed in the award of contracts within the NIPP project and this board has consistently made sure we close the gaps.

"This why the Federal government and the states contributed money to the tune of over N5billion in other to address this issue of power and I can assure you that we are doing everything humanly possible to do that. For us to spend close to 10 hours here today is an indication of our clear commitment to make sure that we deliver power."

Minister of power, Barth Nnaji said the quantum of transmission lines that NDPHC is constructing across Nigeria is bundled into 27 companies and spans a distance of over 2000km.
"This meeting underscored the need to ensure that we clear the remaining lines, that are necessary to ensure that the contractors move to site and continue the construction work that has been delayed, because of unavailability of access to the site," he said.

"The board has approved a budget of N19billion and, like I said, this is the budget, it doesn't necessarily mean that it will be consumed and specific items will be brought to the board for consideration as the need arises. The bottom line is we need to have the access, we need to get communities to appreciate the need to give out portions of their lands for the purpose of projecting the project".

Mr. Nnaji said government has directed distribution companies in the country to fast-track the process of installation across the country.

"We are asking all the distribution companies in the country to install prepaid metres, but there are cases where it will be difficult to install prepaid metres like the case of face me I face you buildings," he said.

The minister said though government may not be able to give a definite time-line for the delivery of stable power to the nation, there is a target of about 5000mega watts by the end of the year and government has work to ensure that it minimizes system failure across the country.

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