From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Emir of Minna, Alhaji Umar Farouk Bahago, has assured the contractor handling the 700 megawatts Zungeru Hydro Power Dam project of unflinching support and assistance of maintaining peace with the host communities in order to actualize the project without further delay.
The traditional leader gave the assurance yesterday when the contractor and the traditional heads of the community paid courtesy visit to him at his palace in Minna, that he will do everything possible to ensure the host communities cooperate with the company peacefully.
Bahago therefore, appreciated the federal government gesture for siting the project in Niger state and his community which was on drawing board for years now, assuring to reciprocate the gesture by doing everything possible for the completion of the project within its specified time while he applauded the Community Relations Committee, CRC led by Alhaji Isah Jibrin for a job well done in the area of community relation, advising them not to take laws into their hands in whatever form.
The Chinese company handling the Zungeru 700 megawatt hydro-power dam project said at least 3,000 to 4,000 local workers around the dam site will be employed when fully operational.
It will be recalled that work on the project stopped when some angry youths of the dam communities protested the none settlement of their compensation, five months ago.
The dam project coordinator, Mr. Abiy Getahun, who earlier made this known while briefing the Emir on the development on the project, on the directive of the Ministry of Power, said they, will be employed to work on the project in various capacities.
“We will like to work with the local communities and at the same time, we will need their cooperation.”He noted that the federal government has paid its 25% share of cost of the project; likewise the Chinese government for the implementation, saying more sources of funding has been secured.
Getahun further said that work on the dam project had to stop, following protest by youths of the area over non-payment of compensation, having blocked the road leading to the dam site.
He then appealed to the Emir to help resolve the issue so that work can continue on the project as government is doing everything possible to address the situation in order to meet up with project specification.