Kikagati hydropower
Stortemelk Hydro Scheme, Clarence FreeState, SA

Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola revealed that the federal government has signed treaties to concession six hydro dams to private operators under a build, operate and transfer scheme.

Fashola made the announcement on Monday during the 29th Power Sector Stakeholders’ meeting in Niger State.

According to the Vanguard, the minister said this move is aimed at energising educational institutions and markets in the country. Read more: Benin disco displays improvement in power interruptions

“These are government-led initiatives based on the rural electrification plan approved by the President in 2016 to provide access to power for rural dwellers and vulnerable members of our society,” he explained.

Fashola continued: “We proposed to use six small hydro dams that had been abandoned for decades, federal government owned universities and some markets as anchors. Apart from the universities, where government is directly funding the intervention, the markets are being privately funded, contrary to allegations that have been made in the media, and I challenge those who made the allegation to provide proof to the contrary.”

Providing reliable power

The minister said there are currently 15 markets that are under contemplation with Ariaria, Sabon Gari and Sura markets in Aba, Kano and Lagos as flagships. “The six hydro dams are to be concessioned to private operators to build, operate, and transfer,” he said.

Fashola further explained, “Our thinking is simple. While the whole value chain and power privatisation gradually evolves, it is possible to create oases of success by showing to our children that they can have reliable power while in school.

“If that is a reason to get children to school and keep them there, certainly, no good business can oppose this.

“Indeed, it seems to me sensible to expect that the future of today’s business and even government, rests solely on the quality of education that the current generation of students get. As for the markets, the 37,000 shops in Ariaria, about 13,000 in Sabon Gari, and about 1,000 in Sura represent SMEs, where the majority of our people earn a living,” the minister stated.