Senate Halts Process Of Power Plant Concession

The Senate has asked the National Council on Privatisation and the Bureau of Public Enterprise to suspend indefinitely the proposed concession of the 700 megawatts Station in Niger State, pending the conclusion of an investigation by its committee on power.

The upper chamber is requesting the deferment of the planned concession after lawmakers debated a motion sponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Gabriel Suswam who explained that it will be unacceptable to concession the power plant without ensuring accountability and proper management of unsettled external loans tied to the project.

Federal lawmakers including the Senate President Ahmad Lawan supported his stance. They point out the abysmal failure of the privatization of the electricity sector.

The upper chamber adopted two resolutions: mandated the Committee on Power to investigate the circumstances under which the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant is being concessioned as well as urged the National Council on Privatization and the Bureau of Public Enterprise to suspend indefinitely the proposed concession.

Meanwhile, the Senate has approved the promissory note program and bond issuance to settle outstanding claims and liabilities in the sum of N21bn to Yobe and Taraba states as refunds for the completion of road projects in their states.

However, the Senate stepped down the request from the Kebbi State Government to settle outstanding claims because the state government failed to appear before the committee to defend its claims in respect of the projects.

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