Niger Demands 13% Derivation From Hydro Dams Power Generation | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Niger Demands 13% Derivation From Hydro Dams Power Generation

tcn; electricty transmission
Posted: Jul 21, 2016 at 6:16 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chinwendu Nnadozie


Minna – Besides its normal share from the national grid, Niger State government is demanding 13 percent derivation allocation of electricity generated from three electricity generating hydro dams – Shiroro, Jebba and Kainji – all located in the state.

Niger State has no rival claiming to be the nation’s power state because Nigerians depend largely on electricity generated from Kainji, Shiroro and Jebba dams more than any other in the whole of Nigeria but regrettably citizens have suffered months of total blackout.

Unfortunately, the state, Minna the state capital, in particular have suffered months of darkness due to what Adamu Mohammed Dantani, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC)’s Regional Manager Corporate Communications, had attributed to the activities of the Niger Delta militants.

But Governor Sani Bello during a crucial stakeholders’ meeting with representatives of communities hosting the three dams, power generating, transmission and distribution companies which took place at Government House, Minna, said the trend has to stop and demanded that Niger State be given 13 per cent derivation.

The governor lamented that despite the fact that Niger State is hosting the nation’s three major dams citizens for almost three months now have been in darkness, paralysing both business and domestic activities without any convincing reason from those who should know, the AEDC.

Worried by the potential threats to peace and security to lives and property the incessant blackout poses to citizens, Governor Bello said he decided to convene a meeting of major stakeholders with a view to not only identifying but also finding solutions to the problem as it affects the government and people of the state.

Describing the situation citizens have been subjected in the past three months as disturbing, Bello said though the state is host to three hydro power generating dams supplying electricity to the country it has been witnessing constant power outages prompting the demand that certain percentage of the total electricity generated be allocated to the state.

Governor Bello faulted the equitable distribution of electricity from the National grid to the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, Abuja, insisting that with the present situation of things in Nigeria today, “the era of equitable sharing of the country’s endowments is over.”

“Niger State like the power that lights the country should be recognised specially in electricity distribution,” Bello insists saying, “Something extra should be given to us and this is what the host communities in Jebba, Shiroro and Kainji and my people in Niger State are saying.”

Governor Bello said his administration had for long managed the people’s anger, frustration and protests against the failure of the electricity generating, transmission and distribution companies to live up to their social responsibilities hence the purpose for the stakeholders’ meeting.

He however expressed the hope that the outcome of the meeting would translate into improved electricity situation after waiting for months expecting that power would improve but it was, instead getting worse thereby painting a picture of hopelessness.

Bello said, “We have had people react in protest over an issue. To have them believe that it is only when they protest that they can get the attention and get what they want is rather a dangerous trend that poses serious security threat to any society but the truth is that, Niger State need to improve on power supply and the people appear to be running out of patience.”

The governor however said the state was looking at other options of generating enduring power to meet the needs of citizens including but not limited to establishing an embedded thermal plant or mini hydro power dams across the state that would generate 1-10 mega watts of electricity.

Governor Bello appealed to all the companies involved in the generation transmission and distribution of electricity in the state to carry out their corporate social responsibilities on host communities, adding that providing youths from host communities with jobs and improving their human relations with the people would not be too much for asking.

Also speaking on behalf of the host communities, Mrs. Rose Abara who is also the State Commissioner for Gender Affairs, lamented that the inability of the management of the dams to meet their corporate social responsibilities has continued to heighten tension in the areas and appealed that something should be done and urgently too.

Abara said the blackout being experienced across most of the host communities was responsible for the recent protest by youth from Shiroro Local Government area and therefore called on the management of the dams to live up to their responsibilities as a way of dousing tension.

Also in their separate reactions, representatives of the electricity companies and other stakeholders agreed that the precarious power situation in the state was becoming volatile but blamed the situation on the massive decline in power generation from the hydro power Dams and the thermal plants.