FG to compensate 22,100 persons affected by hydro electricity project in Minna

By The Citizen
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The Federal Government on Wednesday said that it would compensate 22, 100 persons living in  the 98 communities affected by the 700 megawatts hydro electricity power project in Zungeru area of Niger.

Alhaji Isa Jibrin, the Chairman of Zungeru Power Project Community Relation Committee, disclosed this when he led members of the committee on courtesy visit to Government House, Minna.

“The valuation report indicates that a total of 22, 100 persons, 15, 950 farm lands, 6, 762 properties domiciled in 98 communities would be impacted upon by the project,'' he said.

Jibrin did not say the financial implication of the compensation and resettlement of the communities, but said that “the compensation for buildings and structures would be based on World Bank guideline and compensation cost.

“Estate valuers and estate surveyors were used by the Niger State Ministry of Lands and Housing to evaluate it,'' he said.

He said the Federal Ministry of Power had developed a strategy to ensure that environmental and social issues emanating from the project were managed in line with international best practices.

Jibrin said the committee would liaise with stakeholders to ensure transparency during the payment of compensation and resettlement of the affected communities.

He said construction work at the site of the power plant has commenced with the construction design and drawing of the site already completed.

Jibrin said contractors' camp facilities, topographic survey and drilling works had also been completed.

He also said that exploration of construction material sub-soil surface investigation, crushing plant and site clinic had been completed.

Jibrin said the power plant would be completed in 48 months and would commence power generation immediately.

He said diversion of the river would commence by Sept. A development he said made it imperative for government to expedite action the compensation and resettlement plans.

The committee chairman said that the committee would operate from Niger and appealed to Gov. Babangida Aliyu of Niger to assist the committee in providing office accommodation to ease its job.

Responding, Aliyu urged the committee to be transparent in the payment of compensation and resettlement of the affected communities.

He promised to provide the committee with office accommodation to enable it achieve its terms of reference.