13 December 2012, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian government has signed a contract agreement for the implementation of the N162.99 billion Zungeru hydro electric power project with a Chinese consortium.
The EXIM Bank of China will provide 75 per cent of the value of the loan at a concessionary rate of 2.5 percent, while the 25 percent counterpart fund “in the sum of $309 million” is said to be currently available with the Ministry of Power.
Minister of Power, Zainab Kuchi, wio signed on behalf of the Federal Government in Abuja reiterated the 48-month deadline for completion of the project even as
permanent secretary of the ministry, Dere Awosika, noted that the “countdown” had
begun as government insisted on 2015 target completion timeline.
Kuchi said, “I am glad that we are making history for the implementation of this long
awaited project. On the completion of the project, a total of 700 megawatts of electricity would be added to the national grid, leading to an increase in the power delivery to small and medium scale industries and households, thereby enhancing sustainable power supply to the country. ”
She continued,”May I draw your attention to the fact that this government is aware of the over 1000 direct employment opportunities that this project would provide, which
will consequently enhance our economy. We are also conscious of the fact that there would be a lot of local contract components of the project which would be handled by competent and experienced Nigerian companies.”
The minister assured that the infrastructure, on completion would generate sufficient
revenue for the repayment of the loan.
The Chinese consortium, made up of CNEEC and Sinohydro, assured that they have the experience and capacity to deliver on the projec,t based on the contract agreement signed.
“We will try our best to make our contribution to this country,” Du Nan, executive vice president of Sinohydro, spoke on behalf of the group.