Minister of State, Power, Mohammed Wakil, has explained that legal challenges from vested interest is slowing down the pace of work at the 700 mega watt Zungeru Hydro project in Niger State.
The N162 billion project, which was contracted to two Chinese firms, Sino Hydro Corporation and China National Electric Engineering Corporation (CNEEC), was expected to be completed by 2017.
The bulk of funds for the projects are to be provided by China Exim Bank with about 75 per cent while the federal government will provide the remaining 25 per cent.
Wakil said government was concerned about the legal actions but was making effort to ensure out of court settlement on all issues surrounding the project.
According to him, “Immediately the Zungeru project took off, we had legal challenges. Somehow in the communities, some people, I can say power people instituted court action and in fact they succeeded in getting an injunction restraining government from further doing the project.
“At a point we had about two to three litigation on the project but the ministry has been trying to resolve the problems outside the court. A committee has been set and they have held several meetings with the parties involved. It is a national project and we do not want to be unnecessarily bogged down by litigations. We are being careful and are engaging the parties with a view to settling out of court. That has tampered with our timetable but even with that there has been a lot of progress,” he said.
Source : Independent