10 June 2013, Kaduna – Managing Director of the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, KEDC, Alhaji Idris Mohammed, has expressed fears of possible abandonment of electricity projects worth N3.7 billion in Kaduna State.
Mohammed, who expressed the fears when Power Minister, Prof Chinedu Nebo, visited the company at the weekend, stated that power projects under KEDC valued at N3.7billion may be abandoned if the Federal Government failed to complete them before the eventual sale of the company to private investors.
According to him, lack of budgetary provision for the projects in the 2013 budget may stall their completion.
Mohammed maintained that most of the projects spread across Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi states were already 50 percent completed, but noted that KEDC would have to to install about 68,000 electricity metres before the end of the year in order to improve revenue generation.
A highlight of the minister’s visit to Chikun Local Government Area was a protest by some land owners in Kudendan ward.
The minister was in the area to inspect the 215 megawatts power station being constructed there, but was met by the land owners who were protesting alleged failure by government to give them alternative land to settle after taking over their lands for the project.
According to the protesting land owners, four years after the government took their lands with a promise to provide an alternative place for them, nothing has been done in that regard.
Speaking for the land owners, Francis Nwobodo, “Vice President Namadi Sambo (when he was governor) came here and told us that the government was interested in this land and that the power plant they will build will benefit all of us.
“He promised to give us another land and based on that, we willingly gave away our land. Four years after, we have not heard anything. The late governor Yakowa came here and promised that they will do something. Some of us have died and yet, we are yet to be given another land.”
The Minister commended the land owners for the peaceful nature of their protest and for giving their support for the project. He said the government was willing to fulfill its promise of giving them another land, pointing out that something must have happened which led to the delay in fulfilling the promise.
“I will talk with the governor of Kaduna State on this matter when we meet. I would have seen him today, but he is traveling.
“I want to assure you that I will talk with him. The power project that is being constructed here will give you more power than what you are currently enjoying,” the minister said.