From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
Niger state Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has directed the 11 delegates representing the state at the on-going National Conference to demand for the control of hydro-electric power projects in the state.
Governor Aliyu stated this yesterday, in Minna, stating that power generation and distribution should be decentralized, adding that it is morally and financially wrong for states or private investors to construct power plants, generate and distribute electricity only for such organizations to plough such generated power to the national grid.
He also directed delegates representing the state at the conference to push for the full implementation of the Hydro Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) bill, which President Goodluck Jonathan has since signed into law.
The delegates were told to lobby their colleagues for the full execution of the provision of the bill because, according to him “It is the solution to the annual problems being faced by people in the riverine areas and flood plains of the three Hydro Electric Dams, situated at Jebba, Kainji and Shiroro, with another one under construction in Zungeru, all in Niger state”.
Rising from a stakeholders’ meeting, held at the Government House and presided over by Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and leader of the state’s delegates to the conference as well as former Governor of the state, Engr Abdulkadir Kure, the meeting resolved that the state should also ask for necessary compensation from the relevant authorities for the power being generated from these dams.
Governor Aliyu further said the state is of the opinion that that the ‘current onshore-off shore dichotomy should be renegotiated to the extent that states will be allowed to harness their natural resources’.
“Niger state and the entire northern states should also canvass to make land a valuable resource”.
The stakeholders also asked its delegates to ask for the institution of a Horizontal Revenue Allocation Formula which will see all states getting equal amount of 36% of whatever accrued to the federation account, population of states and local governments should also get 30%, population density 2% land mass 20% and terrain 5%.
Other recommendations in this aspect include revenue generation effort 4%; social development factor like school enrolment hospital beds potable water supply and rural roads, which should be allocated 1 % of money in the Federation Account.