FG concessions Zungeru Power, to recapitalise Agricultural Bank

THE Federal Government has officially concessioned and transferred operations of the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant to Penstock Limited.

This development is expected to boost Nigeria’s power generation capacity and contribute significantly to meeting the country’s growing energy demands.

According to findings, the 700-megawatt (MW) Zungeru hydropower plant is estimated to generate 2.64 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a year, which will meet close to 10 per cent of Nigeria’s total domestic energy needs.


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The Federal Government also announced plans to recapitalise and restructure the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to bolster Nigeria’s agricultural sector and achieve national food security.

Vice President Kashim Shettima stated this on Tuesday, February 20, during the first meeting of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) for 2024 at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Speaking at the meeting, Shettima noted the potential of BOA to play a central role in achieving national food security, citing its extensive branch network across all senatorial districts in the country.

According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Stanley Nkwocha, on Tuesday, Shettima expressed concerns about the bank’s current practices, particularly its tendency to disburse unsustainable loans.

The Vice President advocated modernisation of the BOA, emphasising the need to leverage technology and upgrade branch facilities, urging that embracing modern financial systems would enable the bank to function more effectively and fulfil its vital role in supporting agricultural development.

He further alluded to the potential of the Green Imperative Project, proposing its integration with the BOA’s restructuring plans.

“For me, we can marry the Green Imperative Project while we are going to bring in assorted agricultural machinery. Every farmer should be given a tractor, harvester, and other necessary machinery. We can take in the latest advances in science and technology and make it possible to track these items so that divergence can be minimized.

“We have no business being poor. Nigeria must attain national food security. Let us leverage science and technology. There are three or four states that can feed the whole of this country,” the VP said.

Currently, a committee led by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, is finalising a report on the BOA’s recapitalisation and restructuring, while key decisions have been made, and further updates are expected soon.

Also at the meeting, the NCP announced significant progress in the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant (ZHPP) concession, including the official transfer of the plant’s operations to Penstock Limited.

The Concession Agreement was signed on December 13, 2023, by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and Penstock Limited.

Following Council approval, the Concessionaire fulfilled its obligation by paying 50 per cent of the commencement fees on January 5, 2024.

The official handover ceremony took place on January 23, 2024, officially transferring the plant’s operations to Penstock Limited.




     

     

    The Council also received updates on the report on the NITEL/MTEL property sale at Moloney Street, Lagos.

    It was noted that efforts are ongoing to evict illegal occupants and resolve the court case on the property.

    On the audit of NIPOST properties nationwide, it was noted that the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has provided detailed information to the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, and Postmaster General to assist with the ongoing Postal Sector Reform, facing pushbacks from NIPOST and unions.

    Similarly, it was noted that the management of the Federal Mortgage Bank has submitted nominations to the implementation committee, which is expected to commence work shortly.

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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