September 27, 2021

Niger: Officials handling land compensation at power project site accused of fraud

Youth leaders address Journalists over Zungeru hydropower project in Niger State

From Mathew Jwantu, Minna

Minner, Niger State: Youths in Niger State say they are being shortchanged by Officials handling compensation for land designated for a federal power project in Shiroro Local Government Area.

A power project – Zungeru hydroelectric project on the Kaduna River near Zungelu community, approximately 150km away from Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria started in May 2013 with a 60 month timeline has been delayed by among others, financial shortages for “ecological settlement” in the host community, Officials say.

The project is expected to generate 2.64 billion kWh of electricity a year, which will meet close to 10% of Nigeria’s total domestic energy needs. Apart from electricity generation, the project also intends to provide flood control, irrigation, as well as water supply and fish breeding facilities. But funds released last month for land compensation few months to its projected launch in December 2021 are being diverted by the managing officials, Shiroro youths allege.

At a press briefing on Saturday, leaders of the youths – Mr. Bello Ibrahim and Sani Abubakar, alleged “monumental fraud” in the fund handling.

“Based on our thorough findings, many people were not captured during enumeration, and up to date, their issues have not been revisited,” said the youths.

“During the compensation proper, monumental and catastrophic scam took the centre stage by way of grossly shortchanging all people directly affected by the dam project,” the youths said.