19 August 2014, Abuja – The federal government has said henceforth, communities which constantly disrupt construction of power projects in their localities would be penalised for such unlawful actions.
Aparently referring to communities in Niger State where the 700 megawatts (MW) Zungeru hydro power project is located as well as other parts with major transmission projects, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali, stated that the government may be compelled to relocate such projects from such recalcitrant communities.
Igali who condemned incessant extortion from and disruption of work by some communities, said one of such communities has been directed to cooperate with the government in sorting out extant community resettlement issues or risk having the power asset relocated from the area.
He explained that with the level of obstinate attitudes exhibited in some of the communities, the government has decided to come down hard on communities with penchants to disrupt ongoing power projects within their localities through constant extortion and attack of workers at project sites.
Likewise, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has said that until the federal and state governments work together to make available power to rural communities across Nigeria through disaggregated sources, Nigerians living in far-flung rural areas may not feel the impact of its reform in the power sector.
UNIDO’s resident representative in Nigeria, Dr. Patrick Kormawa who also is UNIDO’s Regional Director for West Africa said at the just concluded National Council on Power (NACOP) that Nigeria’s reform of her power sector should now persuade other tiers of government in the country to commit to development of such rural-oriented power supply sources.
Kormawa said partnerships at all levels and tiers of government, from federal government, to state governments, to local governments were needed, for electricity to be provided to all nooks and corners of Nigeria.
He added that UNIDO has an ongoing partnership with some state governments in development of such aggregated power sources for use in supporting small scale industrial growth.
– This Day